Will Spencer of DraftBreakdown.com conducted this interview with QB Brian Hoyer earlier this month. Hoyer is of interest to the Browns as a potential mid-round pick, and worked out for the team earlier this month.
To see more of Will’s work for Draft Breakdown, click here.
Spencer: How have things been going?
Hoyer: Great actually. I'm just trying to keep myself busy now that there's nothing much going on. I've got a workout with the Browns next week when they bring in the local guys. I'm from the Cleveland area. Besides that, I've just been working out and throwing a little bit. There's actually a kid from my high school that's a wide receiver and going to Ball State next year, so I've been throwing to him a couple days a week.
Spencer: Are you happy the process is winding down?
Hoyer: Yeah, I just wish it was April 25th already.
Spencer: What's been the toughest part for you during this process?
Hoyer: I think for me, I've probably lived in five different places. I was in Michigan State obviously, then I came home for a week, then in Florida for a bowl game. Then I came back home for two days, went to New Jersey to train there. Then you go to Indianapolis to go the Combine...then back to New Jersey for a couple days and drove back home to Ohio. It's just been kind of hectic, but I've been back in Ohio for a couple weeks so it's starting to slow down. I think that's the toughest part but it's a process that you only have to go through once, so I'll just try to enjoy it as much as I can.
Spencer: You mentioned working out for the Browns. What other teams have you had workouts or visits with?
Hoyer: The New England Patriots quarterback coach who went to Michigan State put me through a personal workout, but I haven't had any other personal workouts except the Browns next week.
Spencer: Did you get any odd questions during the interview process?
Hoyer: You always hear about the questions, but I didn't get any weird ones. It seemed like for me, they just wanted to kind of get to know me a little better and get into what I know about the game of football. I didn't get any really weird, personal questions because as soon as I sat down with someone, they wanted me to draw up a play or teach me one of their plays and have me recite it back to them. So I didn't really get anything too weird.
Spencer: Have any teams shown more interest than others?
Hoyer: There are probably about five or six teams I talk to more than others. I met with a bunch at the East/West Game and then also at the Combine. But there's probably about five or six that I've noticed have given me a little more attention than others.
Spencer: Have they given any indication as to where you might be drafted?
Hoyer: No, I wish they'd tell you or I could ask, but I feel like it'd be out of place to do that. But from what I've heard from my agent, and what I feel, I think I should be a middle-round draft pick.
Spencer: Do you have any particular draft day goals?
Hoyer: I think the one thing I would like to see would to be the first senior quarterback drafted, I think that would say something because obviously, those junior guys are talented. I think if I were the first senior quarterback drafted, that would be pretty special.
Spencer: Talking about other quarterbacks, what is that you tell teams to help show that you're the best senior quarterback?
Hoyer: I think if you look at the two years I started at Michigan State, I helped take a program that was a loser, the first three years I was there, I don't think we won more than four games. Then we turned it around real quick and we won seven games my Junior year and then nine games my senior year. I think that's how you judge a quarterback, with wins and losses. That's how the fans and the media are gonna judge a quarterback and I think that's a good way because you can't really improve unless you have a quarterback that manages the game and helps your team, that doesn't hurt your team. That's something I can do, especially my senior year, I didn't hurt the team at all. As far as the physical aspect, I think I have the arm to make all the throws. When I've met with the scouts, they've all talked about my arm strength and quick release. I also feel I'm a pretty good leader as I was voted captain this past year.
Spencer: Do you think there's an offensive scheme you'd fit in best with in the NFL?
Hoyer: It's weird because I played under two coaches at Michigan State. At first, I was in that west coast, spread type offense. Then when coach Dantonio got there a couple years ago we went to that pro-style, under the center, drop back system. I think I liked that a little more but I think I could fit in with both.
Spencer: How was the Shrine Game experience for you?
Hoyer: It was a lot of fun. Knowing that I didn't have huge stats this year, I felt like I had to go out and prove myself. It was a great week. You get to meet a lot of guys that you would sit there and watch on TV from week to week. I feel like I did that week and I think it helped me out.
Spencer: What's your favorite aspect of football as a whole?
Hoyer: In college it was always running out of that tunnel on every Saturday because you know how much hard work you put in and to go out there and actually play the game, that was always my favorite part. And to go out there and throw a touchdown pass, that was always great for me because you get to run down there and celebrate with your team mates.
Spencer: Any NFL QBs you'd compare you play to?
Hoyer: There's a lot of guys I like to watch. I'd say kind of similar to Tom Brady, but that's a big comparison. I just like the way he plays the game. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo, those are probably my favorite quarterbacks in the NFL, so I just try to take pieces of each and emulate them.
Spencer: Did you have a favorite team growing up?
Hoyer: I was a huge Browns fan. We had season tickets to all the games and went to see Bernie Kosar and Eric Metcalf. It was kind of cool at the Combine because two of the guys that talked to us were Ozzie Newsome and Eric Metcalf. It was kind of a neat deal for me because those are the guys I loved watching as a kid. So I was a Browns fan but when they moved away, I kind of stopped watching professional football for a while. Then they moved back and that was when I was in high school. Since then, I think I've only been to two games in the new stadium because of everything going on then.
Spencer: What's the strongest aspect of your game?
Hoyer: At this point in my career, you've only learned a one out of a ten in football knowledge. But I feel like I know a lot of what's going on from a mental aspect. And what I said before, I feel like my arm is top five out of the draft this year. There's not a throw that I feel I can't make. I'm not Pat White, but I think I can scramble around in the pocket and make a play.
Spencer: What area of your game would you like to improve on?
Hoyer: Just working on footwork and trying to extend the play. Not trying to break the pocket, but just extend the play. Just watch a lot of film and try to learn NFL defenses and learn as much as I can. I think those are two things I'll always be trying to get better at.
Spencer: What's going to be the toughest part of your transistion into the NFL?
Hoyer: I think the defenses are more complex and the way the hashes are, in college you can see the majority of blitzes from the field, so the rotations in coverage are going to the field. In the NFL where the hashes are so short, you can bring a corner blitz from either side. I think that will be the hardest transition, just seeing the differences between college and NFL defenses.
Spencer: Was there a particular game that you feel defined you as a player?
Hoyer: My junior year, we needed to win two more games to be bowl eligible and I probably had two of my best games against Purdue and Penn State in back to back games. Then my senior year, we played at Michigan and won there for the first time since 1990, I think. I had a really good game and then the next week we played Wisconsin. We had a drive with one minute to go with no timeouts and we drove down to the 28 yard line to kick the winning field goal. So I'd say those games really show the type of player I am.
Spencer: If you weren't playing football, what would you be doing?
Hoyer: I probably would have played baseball. I was actually going to play at Michigan State but Coach Smith put the squash on that. A lot of major league teams were looking at me coming out of high school but were scared away because I was committed to go to Michigan State and play football.
Spencer: What was your major?
Hoyer: Community Relations.
Spencer: Did you graduate?
Hoyer: Yeah, I graduated last September.
Spencer: Congratulations! Any particular draft day plans?
Hoyer: Just sitting at home with my family and friends.
Spencer: If there was one thing for you to tell the fans, the media, or NFL teams before draft day, what would it be?
Hoyer: I think that given the opportunity, I feel like I can produce at the next level. I feel like I have the skill set, the mentality and the leadership to go out there and produce and be a big time quarterback. That's what I'm looking forward to, just getting the opportunity. I don't care if I'm drafted in the third round, the seventh, or a free agent. I feel like I have the determination and the skill set to make it in the NFL.
Spencer: Thanks Brian and best of luck on draft day!