On Sunday, Brian Hoyer will become the sixth quarterback not named Jay Cutler to start for the Bears since 2009.
Only Josh McCown has had even moderate success, throwing for 2,243 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions in 11 games. The others (Jimmy Clausen, Jason Campbell, Caleb Hanie and Todd Collins) have been terribly forgettable.
Perhaps the best thing Bears fans can say about Hoyer right now is that he went 9-for-12 passing in relief of Cutler in Monday’s loss to Philadelphia. That said, the Eagles weren’t exactly storming the backfield at that point, as they held a solid lead in the fourth quarter.
It is not known how long Cutler's sprained thumb will keep him sidelined. So if the Bears are going to save their season, Hoyer will have to be a catalyst Sunday at Dallas. Here are seven things to know about the 30-year-old former Michigan State Spartan before he attempts to do so.
Tom Brady is a fan
Hoyer was signed as an undrafted free agent by New England in 2009 and was Tom Brady’s backup for three years. He never started for the Patriots, but he did throw for 286 yards and a touchdown in the 13 games in which he saw the field.
"Brian was a great player who worked hard to develop himself into a starting caliber NFL quarterback," Brady told Cleveland.com in 2013. "Nobody worked harder or committed himself more than Brian. He’s a great friend and I’m not surprised that he’s succeeded once he got an opportunity. ... He has everything it takes physically and mentally to play the position."
He has reason to be optimistic
In 2015, Hoyer helped Houston bounce back from a slow start to reach the playoffs. (The bad news: He threw four interceptions in a 30-0 loss at Kansas City in the wild-card round.)
"I was on a team that 0-2 last year, too," Hoyer told The Associated Press earlier this week. "At one point we were 2-5 and we made the playoffs. I think a lot is made early on, trying to get things together. But it's a long season. That's the biggest thing to stress."
Hoyer has fought back from a torn ACL he suffered in October 2013. He also suffered a pair of concussions last season with Houston.
He married his high school sweetheart
Hoyer and Lauren Scrivens tied the knot in 2010. They have a son and a daughter together.
He’s a fan of acupuncture
Lauren Hoyer underwent acupuncture when she was pregnant with the couple’s first child; the baby was breech, and they wanted Lauren to avoid a C-section if possible.
"We went up to this woman doctor, she put the needles in," Hoyer told ESPN in 2015. "They lit some roots and burned it. They had like yoga music on. I literally watched my wife’s stomach shift."
The next day, the baby had turned.
"Once I saw that, I believed acupuncture can do anything," Hoyer said.
The quarterback since has used the practice to aid his recovery after concussions.
He’s got baseball skills, too
As a sophomore in 2002, Hoyer helped pitch St. Ignatius to a state title with an 8-1 record and a 1.99 ERA. In July 2014, he threw out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians home game against the White Sox.
He inspired a song
Not one he created, but rather one posted by (presumed) Cleveland Browns fan Sam Allard on YouTube in 2014. Hoyer was with the Browns from 2013-14. "The Ballad of Brian Hoyer" is set to the tune of Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" and has been viewed more than 116,000 times.
Among the lyrics:
"Maybe there's a God above, but there was never much to love about the Cleveland Browns for years before ya
"Now I pray you'll be the one in charge and lead us on a victory march, too bold to let a broken knee destroy ya
"Brian Hoyer, Brian Hoyer ..."
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