The four-game suspension of Tom Brady places the New England Patriots in a challenging position as their star player will miss the opening matches of the NFL season. While all football teams are equipped with backup quarterbacks to sub in moments like this one, the Rob Gronkowski squad has Jimmy Garoppolo to take on the role. Despite his talent, the young quarterback admittedly lacks the veteran knowledge and leadership of Brady -factors that have made the New England Patriots AFC and Super Bowl favorites for more than a decade. How will the Bill Belichick team deal with this devastating loss?
The answer lies in the re-entry of a former teammate to the New England Patriots roster. Brian Hoyer, who was just recently released by the Houston Texans, is widely speculated to be an attractive backup for Brady. Apart from his skills in the gridiron, Hoyer has veteran experience following his stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns. However, these are not the most significant reasons behind the interest for Hoyer to stand in for Brady. It is his experience as a former New England Patriots that makes him appealing to the NFL team.
"New England has just two QBs on the roster - Brady and Garoppolo - and no first-round pick in this week's draft because of the team's share of Deflategate penalties," noted Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post. He added, "It's hard to see Bill Belichick going through four games with an untested Garoppolo and a rookie second- or third-day choice as his only options. Reuniting with former Patriot Brian Hoyer would seem, at least for the moment, the most logical option."
Hoyer, who was signed by the New England Patriots in 2009 after he went undrafted, played with Brady until 2012. He later on played backup for Ben Roethlisberger in the Pittsburgh Steelers and went through a series of trades and deals before landing a post in the Houston Texans where he battled Ryan Mallett for the starting quarterback position. At this point, it looks like Hoyer is coming full circle as he once again faces the possibility of playing as backup for Brady.
"Brian is the best example of a guy who's confident because of his preparation," shared Mike Pettine of Hoyer in an earlier interview. The Cleveland Browns head coach added, "He learned in the Tom Brady school of preparation. I doubt there's a better person to learn from. He knows everything about his opponent. Plus, he has a much better arm than people give him credit for. I have seen it since I got here - he can make all the throws."