The Patriots know exactly what they have in Hoyer. They know his strengths and weaknesses should the worst happen to Brady.
The Patriots needed to use this training camp and preseason to find out what they had in Mallett. When Hoyer moves on, is Mallett ready to be Brady’s backup? Could he be the heir apparent?
You don’t find the answers to those questions running the scout team during the season. The preseason is the proving ground for young players. With no offseason last year because of the lockout, this was a big camp for Mallett.
When Mallett was drafted, we heard from the experts how he could be Brady’s successor: a first-round talent who dropped because of off-field issues. In the Patriots system, he could realize that potential.
Mallett doesn’t appear to be there yet.
That’s not cause for concern. It’s part of the process.
“I feel better than I did after the last preseason,”Mallett said, “but I still know there’s a ton of work left to do.”