The quarterback Tampa Bay defenders will be tasked with containing this Sunday is the guy that should be starting in Cleveland, according to Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
When asked Thursday afternoon about Brian Hoyer, the Bucs’ Pro Bowl interior defensive lineman touched on how the Browns quarterback handled the training camp commotion that dominated Berea, Ohio when rookie Johnny Manziel came to town.
“I have a lot of respect for Brian Hoyer and what he represents on the field,” McCoy said. “I don’t know who he is or what type of guy he is off the field, but he’s in a starting role for a reason. He rightfully earned that role through all the circus that was going on in Cleveland. He never wavered, he kept his mouth shut and just performed. He’s the guy who should be starting and he’s led them the way he should. He’s an athletic guy, smart, can make all the throws and is a huge reason why they are where they’re at.
“Starting with him, we have to make sure we neutralize him. Of course, everything starts with stopping the run. We’re going to have to get upfield and it will start with us up front getting penetration with them running a similar style run game that Baltimore had. One thing we didn’t do well in Baltimore is we didn’t get upfield enough. We’re going to change that this week.”
Navigating Cleveland to a 4-3 record has quieted the Manziel chatter, though Hoyer’s numbers have been far from imposing. The sixth-year former Michigan State signal caller has thrown for 1,714 yards and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 8-to-2. Hoyer’s completion percentage of 57.3 would rank him last in the NFL if it weren’t for recently benched New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith owning that dubious distinction.
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