Brian Hoyer was very vocal after the Browns last second win over the Falcons last Sunday regarding his play. Despite leading the Browns to a game-winning field goal in the last 44 seconds, Hoyer lamented his poor decisions in the fourth quarter that almost cost the Browns the win. Despite throwing for 322 yards and the final drive, Hoyer couldn’t get past the three interceptions he threw.
“I think the guys realized that we certainly wouldn’t be where we are right now without Brian and that nobody’s perfect,” Mike Pettine said. “When you see a guy that is that hard on himself and is that much a perfectionist and it means a lot that they’re going to play hard for him. I just think that’s what one of the biggest reasons why we are where we are. Guys care about each other, and they realize that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. I think that when you’re involved in a team sport and you have that you have a chance to be special.”
Hoyer led the Browns on a 61-yard drive by completing four passes in the final moments. Andrew Hawkins said Hoyer was completely in control on the final drive.
“Well, guys were just taking it one play at a time,” Hawkins said. “The noise and the crowd, sometimes it works to your advantage because it doesn’t give you time to think about how big the situation is, which is cool.
“Brian was super poised, and before we went out there he said, ‘C’mon guys, let’s go down there and win this,’ “ he said. “You know when Brian says that he means it so guys just stepped up to the plate. It was a great team victory.”
Despite leading the team to the win, after the game Hoyer couldn’t get past the
two costly interceptions he threw in the final five minutes of the game.
“Brian is very difficult on himself,” Pettine said. “He’s a competitor. He’s a perfectionist, and I just think in a sense he felt that he was really felt like he was letting his teammates down with some of the plays that he had made. Sure, it obviously affected him, but I just think the way he handled it was outstanding - the resolve. People said the look on his face when they made the field goal was, ‘Hey, it’s time to go out there and see if we can get this done.’
“Again, it’s a testament to his mental toughness and the team’s mental toughness,” Pettine said. “There are going to be a handful of games every year that come down to the last drive, and we’ve been fortunate that...we haven’t come up on the positive end in all of them, but certainly did it in more situations than we haven’t.”
In the 14 games that Hoyer has started for the Browns, he has led the Browns back to wins on five occasions.
Hawkins said the team is totally behind Hoyer, despite Hoyer being so hard on himself.
“Brian’s a competitor,” Hawkins said. “I won’t lose sleep about Brian being able to hop back. Brian knows that – not just me – the entire team has so much confidence in him. If that waivered when someone made mistakes, I think that’s an indication of not a very good football team or a close football team, and I think we are a close football team. I don’t think anyone is batting an eye from a couple of mistakes here and there because we’re all going to make mistakes.
“We have made mistakes, and they probably won’t stop at this point for anybody because the game of football every week is won on one of two teams making too many mistakes,” he said. “Like I said, I won’t lose any sleep over it. I think Brian’s a competitor. He’s a seasoned veteran so he has his process. I’m going to go with whatever his process is. Like I said, I haven’t lost a bit of confidence in Brian.”
Hawkins said the entire offense believes that Hoyer will make the plays that are needed to win the game.
“I’ve said it before: I don’t think there’s ever a time during a game when we think we’re out of it because we have No. 6 (Hoyer) running the show,” Hawkins said. “It’s not just him. The guys around him are all busting their butts, but there’s no question about it, he’s the leader on offense. When you have confidence in your leader and he has confidence in himself and the rest of the team, the sky is really the limit on any given Sunday.”