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McGahee calls Hoyer 'a winner'

Posted Sep 30, 2013

After leading the team to consecutive victories, quarterback Brian Hoyer has earned the confidence and trust from the most veteran Browns.

After he emerged from the cold tub following Monday’s practice and headed to his locker, Cleveland Browns running back Willis McGahee was asked about his thoughts on quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Upon seeing Hoyer lead the Browns to consecutive victories over the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals, McGahee was succinct with his response and complimentary of the fourth-year signal-caller.

“He is a winner; he gets it done,” McGahee said. “From what I know, he’s a player, and he wants to win. Those are the characteristics that you need as a quarterback.”

McGahee is on his fourth NFL team, and feels he knows when a team is about to change its fortunes and start winning. During his first season in Denver, McGahee was on his way to a 1,000-yard season when the Broncos inserted Tim Tebow into the starting lineup in place of Kyle Orton.

Between McGahee’s running and Tebow’s knack for inspiring his teammates, the Broncos earned a playoff berth and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wildcard round. McGahee feels the Browns, much like those Broncos in 2011, are one of those teams because of “their heart, their determination.”

“It reminds me of my first year in Denver,” McGahee said. “It was a really, really young team. Champ (Bailey), he was an older guy, and I was one of them. It was a really young team, a young O-line that had been together for only a couple years. That’s what I see on this team. It’s going to click.

“I think the coaching staff helps out a whole lot. I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve seen coaches get after you. It’s different. They’re working with guys. They’re helping everybody improve each week.”

Hoyer engineered two 90-yard touchdown drives in the win over Cincinnati, and capped off both possessions with scoring passes, the first, a two-yarder to tight end Jordan Cameron, and the last, a one-yard score to running back Chris Ogbonnaya with 4:54 left to play.

Following Sunday’s 17-6 win over the Bengals, McGahee was not the only Browns veteran impressed by Hoyer’s leadership capabilities.

“(Hoyer’s) playing well, and it’s contagious,” said veteran wide receiver Davone Bess. “This winning thing can become contagious. The more and more we continue to work, the more we expect to win, the more expectations we have for ourselves, just as a team. Our heads are down. We’re focused on the next opponent, and that’s the Buffalo Bills. It’d be easy to bite the cheese and be happy, but we’re on a mission. We’re on the right track, and we want to stay on track.

“I’ve been a believer in him for a long time. He was in New England when I was in Miami, so I already knew what he was capable of. I’m really more proud of him with the way he’s handled it because it’s not easy to be thrown in there, especially at his position, to be able to ignite something like this two-game winning streak we’ve got going.”

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