Quarterback Brian Hoyer didn’t need directions to the Browns’ training facility after he signed a two-year deal with the team May 17.
After all, Hoyer, a North Olmsted native and St. Ignatius High School graduate, is home.
“Obviously when you’re a kid growing up and you dream about playing professional sports, you dream about playing for your hometown team,” Hoyer said this afternoon following a session of organized team activities. “It really is … a dream come true. I always grew up wanting to be Bernie Kosar and now to get a chance to play quarterback for the Browns, it’s definitely an exciting time.”
Hoyer is third on the Browns’ depth chart behind incumbent starter Brandon Weeden and nine-year veteran Jason Campbell. The majority of Hoyer’s reps were with the third-team offense, but he also worked a little bit with the second unit, completing a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Montario Hardesty during an 11-on-11 drill.
Still, Hoyer is confident he has the talent to ascend to a greater role.
“No doubt I think I have the capability to be a starting quarterback,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer pointed out he is learning his fourth offense in less than a year. After spending three seasons as Tom Brady’s backup with the New England Patriots, he wound up with the Pittsburgh Steelers in December and then the Arizona Cardinals for the final two games of this past season. Hoyer, 27, has made one start in his career, completing 19-of-34 passes (55.9 percent) for 225 yards and one touchdown with an interception in the Cardinals’ 27-13, season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17.
“I’m so far behind these guys,” Hoyer said. “I’m learning from Brandon and Jason and [offensive coordinator Norv] Turner. Obviously there’s a great coaching staff here, so I’ve been asking them a lot of questions and just trying to catch up. I’m just thankful for the opportunity to compete for a spot on this team. Wherever that goes, we’ll see. But I’m just trying to take it day by day right now, improve myself, and hopefully every day the plays get a little bit easier, the calls get a little bit easier and things like that.”
Weeden is planning to go back to his home state of Oklahoma this weekend to help in relief efforts after tornadoes recently ripped through it.
Weeden’s wife, Melanie, is from Moore, Okla., where a tornado killed 24 people and destroyed thousands of homes. None of her family members were injured, Weeden said.
“I’m going home this weekend to help out, volunteer, do as much as I can,” said Weeden, an Edmond, Okla., native and former Oklahoma State University standout. “I know it’s tough, there’s so much devastation. But just to do my part, I feel like it’s the right thing to do, especially when it hits close like that with your wife’s family. That’s my plan for the weekend.”
Running back Trent Richardson sat out practice today with a strained lower-leg muscle in his shin, and he could be sidelined during the Browns’ mandatory minicamp June 4-6, coach Rob Chudzinski said. Chudzinski said holding Richardson out of practice was “precautionary.”
Tight end Jordan Cameron (strained groin muscle), rookie safety Jamoris Slaughter (Achilles), wide receivers David Nelson (knee), Jordan Norwood (unknown) and Perez Ashford (unknown) and offensive lineman Ryan Miller (unknown) did not practice, either.
Defensive end Desmond Bryant was not at practice because he was tending to a legal matter, Chudzinski said.
Rookie offensive tackle Chris Faulk (knee) worked out on an exercise bike at the beginning of practice and later stood on the field while wearing a helmet as the team conducted a walk through.
Highlight of day
Weeden completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who beat the coverage of cornerback Buster Skrine to catch the perfectly placed ball.
Chudzinski said he has seen progression from Weeden throughout OTAs.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said the team would experiment with Johnson Bademosi and Buster Skrine as kick returners. … Jason Pinkston worked at left guard with the first-team offense. John Greco served as the first-string right guard, and Shawn Lauvao practiced at left guard with the second unit. … Jabaal Sheard practiced at left outside linebacker with the first unit while Paul Kruger worked on the opposite side. Last week, Sheard was on the right side and Kruger on the left. … Rookie cornerback Leon McFadden, a third-round pick in this year’s draft, practiced today after sitting out last week because he was still in school at San Diego State University. McFadden worked with the second-team defense. Skrine practiced with the first-team defense opposite cornerback Joe Haden. In the nickel package, Skrine moved to the slot, and Chris Owens played on the outside.