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Friday, September 4, 2009
Patriots go according to Hoyer


Anybody have a problem with Brian Hoyer being a New England Patriots quarterback project?

Didn't think so.

Hoyer's performance in Thursday night's 38-27 victory over the New York Giants underscored the Patriots' decision to waive Kevin O'Connell four days earlier.

Hoyer took every snap for the Patriots, completing 18 of 25 passes for 242 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. The undrafted rookie from Michigan State finished with a 115.8 passer rating.

Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis made a strong bid for a spot on the 53-man roster with a great game. He rushed 29 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 22 yards.

But the real intrigue is at backup quarterback. Tom Brady is returning from reconstructive knee surgery and gave Patriot Nation a scare last weekend, when Washington Redskins behemoth Albert Haynesworth slammed Brady's throwing shoulder.

As impressive as Hoyer's complete game was, the significance might have more to do with the future of Andrew Walter. The Patriots signed the former Oakland Raiders quarterback four weeks ago, but haven't given him an opportunity to prove himself in exhibitions.

Walter didn't throw a pass in any of the Patriots' last three preseason games. He went 5-of-9 for 62 yards and zero touchdowns in the second exhibition. Not exactly a convincing audition.

So who will be Brady's backup? Hoyer seems more logical than Walter at this point, but acquiring a veteran via free agency or a trade is more plausible.

A few options exist. National Football Post analyst Michael Lombardi presented the going rates for possible candidates to join the Patriots. The list includes Tarvaris Jackson, Jeff Garcia, A.J. Feeley, Luke McCown, Tyler Thigpen and Joey Harrington.