Quarterback Brian Hoyer is the leader of the Cleveland Browns' offense. What he says about the team matters.
Confidence has been a prevalent word in Berea during the preseason. The defense has embraced the word, swarming to the ball all throughout training camp, and outside of some lapses against the Rams, showing they can be one of the best units in the league.
But what about offensively? Is the offense lacking confidence? In Mike Pettine-esque truthful commentary, Hoyer doesn't see it that way, at all.
"I don't feel we're down on ourselves," said Hoyer. "I think the most frustrating part to us is that we do some things really well and then we shoot ourselves in the foot. It's not like we're going out there and just going three and out, three and out, three and out.
"That's the frustrating part. If we just sucked then I think we would kind of just be down on ourselves, but we realize what we can be. That's the most frustrating part and that's why we've been coming out of these games feeling mad at ourselves."
The unsatisfying part is that the preseason isn't a proper gage for anything – success or failure. Many teams who go 4-0 in August are the same franchises picking in the top five of the NFL draft. It's obviously better to score touchdowns, than to not, but everything prior to the regular season should be taken with a grain of salt.
Hoyer agreed with a question that the Browns' offense has been vanilla in the preseason compared to what it might look like Week One in Pittsburgh. But that's the nature of the NFL's preseason. Even if the wheels aren't able to get churning against the Chicago Bears, the Browns' starting quarterback and the coaching staff won't be concerned.
"I think obviously we want to go out and play and execute Thursday night really well, but I don't think there's going to be any type of hangover whether it's positive or negative going into regular season," said Hoyer. "I think it's a whole new ball game when that comes around.
"I think, for us especially, we're just trying to build our core concepts and principles. We just try to emphasize the things that we do, and I think the preseason has been more about us just trying to…we're not so much worried about the defense. We're more worried about ourselves as an offense and what we need to do and just go out and execute whatever look the defense gives you. I think it's similar throughout the league. You don't want to show a ton of stuff, but you also want to work on things. I think that's where we're at."