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"If I was still in the league and needed a quarterback, instead of chasing Kolb, I would chase Brian Hoyer of the Patriots," said Lombardi. He continued, "If teams evaluate New England's Week 17 game against Miami, they'd see that Hoyer demonstrates the skills needed to be a starter."
The undrafted free agent out of Michigan State will be entering his third season with the team after signing in 2009. Hoyer owns a 61.9 completion percentage on 42 career pass attempts during the regular season. It's an extremely small sample, but impressive numbers nonetheless considering the young clipboard holder's nonexistent play time.
Hoyer has put up some impressive numbers in preseason play as well, posting a passer rating just north of 95 in the exhibition games.
He has seen the field in spot duty when filling in for Tom Brady during blowouts and played well. While those brief performances aren't proof of his high potential, his roster competition should offer a hint. The Patriots haven't carried another quarterback on the roster since Hoyer secured the backup job out of training camp his rookie season.
He has clearly earned the team's trust very quickly and may end up catching the eye of one of the many franchises looking for a signal-caller this offseason. A third of the league has some degree of quarterback controversy currently brewing, which could lead to a few phone calls heading in the Patriots' direction regarding their backup.
Lombardi believes Philadelphia may ask for too much in return for Kevin Kolb, and Mike McCarthy, Green Bay's head coach, has stated the Packers' backup quarterback, Matt Flynn, is off limits. This 2011 draft class certainly doesn't appear at this stage to be the year of the quarterback, either.
Teams are going to need to find their starters somewhere, and New England has had an impressive run developing players behind Brady. History suggests the Patriots will again be open to wheeling and dealing every single one of their picks as well, so this offseason may be shaping up to be an active one.
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