BEREA, Ohio -- Even when Brian Hoyer's 2013 season came to an abrupt end because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a win over the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 3, the Cleveland Browns' signal caller maintained a presence in the locker room and around the team's training facility.
When Hoyer was not rehabbing his injured knee or strengthening the muscles around the surgically repaired ligament, he was supporting his teammates, both in the locker room and on the sidelines of games.
It was during that time in which Hoyer displayed a professionalism that was appreciated by those in the Browns' front office.
"I think Brian's been phenomenal," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. "I think he's handled it like a pro, which is what you would like. He's a man's man. He didn't cry over spilled milk.
"He attacked his rehab. He was here probably more than anybody. I think I work a lot of hours and there wasn't very many hours that I was in the building that Brian wasn't somewhere working on his craft, be it the meeting room, be it the indoor facility, be in the weight room. He did everything he could to put himself in the best position possible. Now, he's got to go out and perform."
Hoyer was able to move the ball well during Sunday's practice, and seemed to have an advantage over rookie signal-caller Johnny Manziel, who is competing with him for the starting job.
"The guy's a pro," Farmer said. "If you watch how he attacked all of it, his rehab, his mental state, all of it, he has been professional. You can see it. One bad day doesn't make or break it. It's consistency that makes you win the National Football League.
"Guys have great games and you never hear from them again. It's the guy that can routinely go out and perform time and time again that we want, and Brian's starting to show that that's what he's going to do.
"I would tell you from Brian's perspective, he's been a pro. He's handling himself the right way, and I'm going to compare Brian to Brian."
Prior to suffering the torn ACL, Hoyer made three starts for the Browns, and completed 57 of 94 throws for 615 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions. More important, though, than his individual statistics was the fact the Browns won all three of his starts.
However, just because Hoyer led the Browns to three wins does not mean the starting job is his yet. Hoyer has to continue to demonstrate the abilities he showed not only last year, but the leadership he has displayed since the injury.
"Brian, right now, is working with the ones and as he goes, that's what'll happen," Farmer said. "As coaches make decisions, and we definitely have meetings every, single day about who's doing what, how well they're performing and who needs to get more reps in what situations, as we move through with that, Coach (Mike Pettine) will make those decisions.
"We'll all have input, and we'll see what happens when the movie ends."