Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer started only three games for the team before a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee ended his season after a win in front of a national-television audience on Oct. 3, 2013.
However, in those three starts, Hoyer completed 57 of 96 attempts for 615 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions. He did enough to lead the Browns to three victories, which impressed many former quarterbacks who now serve as broadcasters for the league's games and on the NFL Network.
"You look at that first game against Minnesota and how he brought them back there at the end, he just showed great poise and confidence, and I think the team really responded," said former NFL MVP Rich Gannon. "It says a lot about how a team really responds and rallies around a guy. I think he's a guy that really merits some strong consideration."
Before last season, Hoyer had just one previous NFL start, which came with the Arizona Cardinals in 2012, but when given his chance, he led the team to a come-from-behind victory at Minnesota, where he threw a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron in the game's final minute.
"I like what Brian did last year," said NFL MVP and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner. "Obviously, he suffered the injury, but I think it's really going to be dependent on what type of system we have and who fits that system the best."
Moving forward, whether it be Hoyer or another person, both Gannon and Warner feel it is imperative for the Browns to choose a quarterback, and with the 10 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft in addition to more than $30 million to spend in free agency, the team is in position to add depth and talent to the roster.
Finding a quarterback is something the Browns have struggled with since returning to the NFL in 1999, as 19 different players have started for the team over the past 15 seasons.
"If you look around the division, Pittsburgh's got (Ben) Roethlisberger, Baltimore's got (Joe) Flacco, and of course, Cincinnati's got (Andy) Dalton," Gannon said. "Cleveland's got to find a quarterback."
Warner added, "They've obviously got a number of choices. Do they go out and draft a guy? Do they feel there's somebody out there that can bring them to that next level? I'm not sure, and I don't really know what their offense is going to look like now to know if Brandon Weeden is the guy that fits into that, or whether it's going a different direction."