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Training camp preview: Quarterback

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 21, 2012 09:19 AM

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Quarterback is one of the most stable positions on the team, but 2012 could be the final season Brian Hoyer (center) is Tom Brady's backup (Robert E. Klein/For the Globe)

Shalise Manza Young provides a status report on the Patriots' offensive position groups heading into the start of training camp on July 26.

Position: Quarterback
Current number of players: 3
Four-year average at cut to 53: 2.5
Last season at 53: 3

Locks (3): Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
Near-locks: None
Battling: None
Long shots: None

53-man prediction
On the team:
Brady, Hoyer, Mallett
Cut: None

Parting thought: Brady certainly isn’t going anywhere, and the Patriots like Hoyer as his backup. They believe he has what it takes to be a solid starter. This could be Hoyer’s final year with the Pats – he will be a free agent after the season, and if he really has grown as much as the team believes he has, Hoyer will want to test the waters and get a shot at taking over a team. While he did not take a snap in his rookie season, word is Mallett showed growth on the practice field last year. He still has some work to do, judging by his mechanics during spring camps, but if Hoyer does depart, he’ll likely be the top backup next season, so he needs to fine-tune.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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