Brian Hoyer 'thankful' to be with Browns

CLEVELAND -- Questions have swirled around the quarterback position for the Cleveland Browns from the moment starter Brandon Weeden suffered a sprained thumb on his throwing hand in the fourth quarter of the team's 14-6 loss at the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 15, 2013.

The reason for the questions?

In Weeden's absence, North Olmsted native Brian Hoyer led the Browns to back-to-back wins without the services of running back Trent Richardson, who was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Despite his success, speculation only grew louder when Hoyer suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. Many of the mock drafts leading up to this year's annual selection meeting have the Browns selecting a quarterback.

"That's just the nature of the business," Hoyer said at the Cleveland Auto Show Monday. "Somebody's always coming. That's out of my control. The only thing I can control is how hard I'm willing to work, how much I study and things like that. I really don't pay attention to the media."

It was during those three starts that Hoyer first made an impression on new Browns coach Mike Pettine. And that impression has only gotten better since Pettine joined the organization on Jan. 24.

"To me, he flashed brilliance," Pettine said. "He flashed that he could be a quality starter in the NFL. He's proven to everybody what kind of intangibles he has, the work ethic. He's in the building every day whether he's getting his rehab in or he's in the lunch room. You can see he's a gym rat. When it comes to his rehab, that applies as well.

"It's great to see him in and setting that example. Some of the other guys are kind of trickling in and out, but he's the first one in, last one in getting in his rehab."

Despite all of the "noise" that has surrounded the quarterback position, Hoyer said he is "thankful" to be a part of the organization as well as for the opportunity to play for, and potentially help turn around the fortunes of a franchise he grew up cheering for while playing football for Cleveland St. Ignatius High School.

"It comes full circle and I'm so thankful to be a part of this organization and have a chance to alter it's outcome," Hoyer said. "There's a million fans that want to do it. I'm one of the guys who gets a chance to do it.

"I'm thankful that I'm here to have an opportunity to be a part of that. I have some control in that. I'm working hard every day and I can't wait for April."

Whether Hoyer is named the starter after the offseason program or is forced to compete for the starting job, he is looking forward to resuming football activities when the team begins its workouts next month.

"I'm running, lifting, throwing, doing it all," Hoyer said. "I won't even say it's rehab at this point. It's more just working out, strengthening the legs. I run like three times a week, lift every day, throw three times a week to trainers.

"It's something that I've never had to deal with before. I'm in there every day from 8 to 1. They're long days. It gets tedious, but I know what I'm working toward and what opportunity I see."


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