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Brian Hoyer can alleviate pressure by showing he can handle it

Posted Aug 25, 2014

Senior Editor Vic Carucci says the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback has a chance to show he can handle the heat.

Brian Hoyer

It’s easy to feel uncomfortable about the Cleveland Browns’ offense, and, especially, the play of starting quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Production has been minimal. Mistakes have been plentiful.

There is a desperate need for some sort of spark, some sort of indication that the Browns actually can move the ball well and score.

The situation would figure to place enormous pressure on Hoyer, and therein is the concern with the regular season fast approaching.

Simply put, Hoyer can’t allow the heat to get to him.

He has won the starting quarterback job, so that, alone, should give him enough confidence to believe that he can, in fact, do the job.

Now, Hoyer has to show it. He needs to handle the basics of a new scheme with the same efficiency he displayed through the majority of training-camp practices. He must show in game action that he has benefitted from having spent the past five seasons in the NFL, even if he hasn’t seen much playing time.

In short, Hoyer has to demonstrate that he is a far better quarterback than he was in last Saturday night’s 33-14 preseason loss against the St. Louis Rams. He has to be more like the guy who threw the ball through traffic to connect with Andrew Hawkins for a touchdown and less like the guy who threw an interception straight into the hands of linebacker Alec Ogletree.

Although he’s expected to play only a series or two in Thursday night’s preseason-finale against the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium, Hoyer could do himself and the Browns plenty of favors by putting together at least one sustained drive – preferably one that ends with a touchdown.

And the rest of the Browns’ offense has to help Hoyer to that end.

Hoyer’s receivers must do a better job of getting open. His line must do a consistently better job of keeping him protected. His running game must be far more productive than it was in averaging only 2.1 yards per carry against the Rams.

Most of all, though, Hoyer just has to handle the pressure.

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