FOXBOROUGH – Ten years ago, Brian Hoyer went 8-1 with a 1.99 ERA and won the state baseball championship game as a sophomore for Saint Ignatius High in Cleveland. On the 10th day of Patriots practice, the backup quarterback explained the similarities and differences between throwing a pitch and throwing a football.
“In football you want to have a quicker release point,” Hoyer said. “In baseball you have no one rushing you. There are definitely things that I think have helped: stride, rotation, things like that.”
Hoyer, now in his fourth training camp looking up to Tom Brady, says time has flown by. But every year there are new players in camp.
“Maybe you want to throw it to the receiver’s outside shoulder instead of the inside,” the former Michigan State QB said. “It could be things as little as that or it could be a bit of progression on a new play.”
For the next two days at practice, the Patriots will hold joint practices with the Saints, whom they face in their first preseason game Thursday night. Hoyer is excited for practices to intensify leading up to a game.
“You’re not going to know the coverages they’re playing,” he said. “You’ve got to read them on the fly. For us to go out there and go through our reads and progressions and to react to what they give us is really good.”
Hoyer on competing with Ryan Mallett: “With the group of quarterbacks we have here, I think the competition brings out the best of all of us. For Ryan and I to be chasing a guy like Tom, there’s not a better quarterback in the game. For us it’s a pretty high standard and high goal to get to. “
Hoyer commented on the Patriots’ biggest offseason acquisition, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
“Brandon has been great in the locker room, a great teammate,” Hoyer said. “Then obviously you see the plays that he’s able to make out here on the field. He catches balls that shouldn’t be caught. His catch radius is a little bit bigger than some people.”
You’ll hear a lot more about Lloyd’s history with track from beat reporter Shalise Manza Young on Tuesday, but when addressed with questions about Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt’s NFL potential, he had an interesting remark.
“Football players are best athletes on the planet,” Lloyd said. “We have backgrounds in multiple sports at a high level in my opinion. I think straight-line speed doesn’t really necessarily translate into football speed.”