- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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My take on Hoyer is he's a notch below backup quarterback Jason Campbell but probably better than most teams' No. 3. Unless Brandon Weeden struggles mightily in training camp and the preseason, the only spot Hoyer is competing for is the backup one.
Do I know this for certain? No. There's reason to think Hoyer will be given an opportunity to have a significant role, based on an old quote from Browns general manager Mike Lombardi when he was an NFL Network analyst. It was dug up by The Plain Dealer.
"I think Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett are starters," Lombardi said in December 2011. "I've said this many times: If I would have taken the GM job of the 49ers, I would have gone after Brian Hoyer, because I think he has all the traits and characteristics. If I were the Cleveland Browns, I'd rather have Brian Hoyer behind center than Colt McCoy. I think he's got all the traits you need, in terms of leadership, toughness, the arm strength, the ability to move the team."
Before there is a buzz about Hoyer battling for the starting job, you should consider two points: Head coach Rob Chudzinski will decide the starting quarterback for the Browns and this quote is 17 months old. Since Lombardi said this, Hoyer has made one career start and bounced from New England to Pittsburgh to Arizona.
His career numbers are one start, a 59.4 completion rate, 616 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Not exactly starting-quarterback statistics there. Also, if the Browns wanted Hoyer to be the starter, they would've traded a late-round pick for him during the draft (which was the speculation) instead of hoping he would get released.
Right now, the Browns are proceeding with Weeden, who took snaps with the first team for the second minicamp in a row.
"This means a lot to me," Weeden told reporters Thursday. "This is my job. I take it seriously and I want to be the guy."
If Weeden fails to be "the guy," I believe the next quarterback up is Campbell and not Hoyer.