BOSTON (CBS) — As the veteran of the quarterbacks room in New England, Brian Hoyer is in a fairly awkward position. At least it would appear that way to outsiders, but not for Hoyer.
Hoyer is competing with fellow QBs Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham in training camp, with all three vying to take over as New England’s starting quarterback. Though he’s played well so far in camp, Hoyer appears the be third on the pecking order once the regular season arrives, considering Newton’s one-year deal and star status and Stidham’s potential as a long-term solution.
But in addition to going up against those two — plus undrafted rookie free agent Brian Lewerke — every day in practice, Hoyer is being asked to help guide them through the Patriots offense, given his five years of experience in the system. It’s a delicate balance between competition and helping those competing against you, but it’s a role that Hoyer is relishing this year.
Hoyer said such competition helps bring out the best in him and his teammates, and that’s all that really matters in New England.
“It’s not hard to balance. Look, we’re all trying to be the best for the team and also do what’s best for the team,” he told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “For me, obviously, with Jarrett and Cam and even Brian, I try to use the knowledge that I’ve accumulated over the years of playing in this offense to help those guys out when they need it.”
This isn’t anything new for Hoyer. He helped Stidham navigate life as a rookie in training camp last season, with Stidham eventually beating him out as the No. 2 quarterback on the dept chart and Tom Brady’s backup. Hoyer said that this year’s group is getting along great, as they learn from each other throughout the process.
“The beautiful thing is we’re all different. We all bring different things to the table and we can appreciate those things about each other, getting to know each other well and helping each other and pushing each other,” he said. “I think that’s a great thing. When you have a so-called quarterback competition, I mean, we’re not all in there not talking to each other. We’re all learning from each other. We’re watching when one person goes and learning from their rep and vice versa. It’s been awesome.”
The 34-year-old signed on in New England this offseason eager for a chance to compete for the starting job. He reportedly turned down more money from other clubs for that opportunity. Even though the room is a little more crowded since Newton signed on, Hoyer isn’t going to pass up another shot with the Patriots.
“All you can ever ask for in the NFL is a chance to compete and I think that’s something that I’ve had throughout my career in different places. So, it’s not something that I’m not used to,” he said. “I think, if anything, I think Coach Belichick and the coaches, they always say that competition makes everyone better. So I think that’s what my goal is, is to go out there every day, compete the best I can, push everybody else to compete as hard as they can. And then when the dust settles and settles, and what it is, it is, but you focus on one day at a time, go out, work the best and the hardest you can.”