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Hoyer to start against Buffalo

Posted Sep 30, 2013

Cleveland native Brian Hoyer will make his third straight start when the Browns host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.

After spending Monday morning studying the film from Sunday’s 17-6 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski named Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback for Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Hoyer will make his third straight start after leading the Browns to victories over the Minnesota Vikings and aforementioned Bengals in consecutive weeks.

“Brian Hoyer will start for us again this week,” Chudzinski said. “He played well again yesterday, and for the past two weeks. Obviously, we’ve been able to win those games. It’s a short week. We’ll get ready and be ready to play Thursday.”

Hoyer completed 25 of his 38 attempts for 269 yards, two touchdowns and finished the victory over Cincinnati with a 103.9 quarterback rating. Although his yardage and touchdown totals decreased from when he completed 30 passes for 321 yards and three scores in Minnesota, Hoyer also eliminated turnovers.

In his third career start, Hoyer did not throw an interception against the Bengals after tossing three in Minnesota.

“His decisions were very good,” Chudzinski said. “I was just talking with him this morning and there was a few throws that he would like to have made better. You look at the drives, we had some long drives that we were able to string together because of some of the things he did on third down and the decisions he was making. I think the guys are rallying around him.

“The first thing is that he’s doing his job. That’s where all of that starts. That’s where you get the credibility to be able to do that. He’s a fiery guy. I think that our whole team was that way about that game yesterday. The fans were awesome; it was loud. Guys were really excited about that and playing in front of them. I think Brian typified that.”

Chudzinski said that he has believed in Hoyer since seeing the veteran signal-caller in the fourth preseason game. Hoyer played the entire game when Chudzinski elected to rest the majority of his starters, and veteran backup quarterback Jason Campbell came down with an illness before kickoff.

“You could see glimpses,” Chudzinski said. “He had a way of making plays. He’s done a good job with the opportunity and he continues to get better.

“It starts with their approach, always believe that quarterbacks have to be the first guy in the building and the last guy out, and their teammates see that. Set the example, and lead by example. Then, it ultimately comes down to production and winning games.”

IMPROVED PRODUCTION

In his second game with the Browns, running back Willis McGahee rushed for 46 yards on 15 carries, and averaged 3.1 yards per rush. One week earlier, McGahee had nine yards on eight carries three days after being signed by the Browns.

“At the end of the game, being able to get in there, he ran hard,” Chudzinski said. “Obviously, he’s a physical guy and hits it up in there. He was big on that drive. I mentioned before, not just from him as a player, but also, the leadership he’s bringing and the attitude he’s bringing to the offense, and to our team, I think, has really helped our guys.

“Willis has a lot of confidence. He’s won. He’s been a winner. He knows what it takes in this league. He brings some of that swagger to us.”

PROTECTING THE QB

The Browns’ offensive line allowed 11 sacks in the team’s first two games. However, they have since limited the Vikings and Bengals to six total sacks.

“It’s always been a focus on technique and carrying over what you’re doing on the practice field to the game field, and trusting your technique, trusting yourself as a player,” Chudzinski said. “I think we’ve also done some things from the scheme standpoint that have helped.

“We’ve been able to make some plays, sustain some drives, maybe not get into a third-and-long or the passing-type situations where everybody knows we’re passing as well. So I think it’s a combination of things.”