Which does not mean a player should be released twice before he finds success.
It does mean, though, that there is benefit to watching and learning -- especially when it’s behind one of the NFL’s best.
Consider Brandon Weeden. The Browns' first-round draft choice in 2012 was put in the starting lineup immediately. He took over a bad team, with little talent around him. Any talent that was around him was young as well.
He did his best, then arrived as the starter in 2013. But he had to learn another system, a new coaching staff, new language and plays. He started two games, struggled and hurt his thumb.
Compare that to the experience of Hoyer, who spent three years in New England and part of a fourth in Arizona. While with the Patriots, Hoyer backed up Tom Brady, which meant he learned behind Brady. Hoyer also played for Bill Belichick. Given the opportunity to observe, he did just that -- and he absorbed.
Proof is that Hoyer is 2-0 as Cleveland's starter, combining for 590 passing yards and five touchdown passes.
“I learned how to prepare and cover all the bases,” Hoyer said in his locker room session Tuesday.
Prepare is the key. Hoyer said he lives in a bubble, going from home to work and back again. His key, he said, is being ready, which he learned in part from Brady.
“I believe in luck,” Hoyer said. “And the harder I prepare, the more luck I have.”
Luck certainly has something to do with Hoyer’s good fortune. Without an injury, he might still be watching. But when the injury occurred, Hoyer was ready.
Many of the things the Browns do offensively are similar to that of Belichick and the Patriots. To have three years' experience in that system had to help Hoyer in this one.
There’s a long way to go for Hoyer to firmly establish himself. But clearly he’s been helped by the fact that he had to be patient, and learn. And that he was willing to learn.