Five weeks have passed since Brian Hoyer last spoke publicly, and the quarterback has had time to reflect on the 2014 season.
His competitive side wouldn't let him admit it during the season, but upon further review, Hoyer told reporters Saturday he understood the Browns' decision to test out rookie quarterback Duke Johnson Jr. late in the season.
"You know what? It's hard to make an argument that they shouldn't have taken me out,'' Hoyer said during an interview session at the IX center, where he was signing autographs for fans at The Great Big Home and Garden Show. "You look at the numbers. But I think also there's more than just meets the eye, more than numbers. So for me, we had a good thing going. We had a few rough patches. And they made the decision to go the other way. I can't blame them for that."
While fielding many questions about the Browns' on-going situations from Josh Gordon's suspension, to Manziel's treatment, Hoyer's tone was clear: He would like to remain a Cleveland Brown.
"Obviously being from here, I was here last year, I love my teammates, I love the coaches, yeah, it's definitely up on the top of the list," Hoyer said via Cleveland.com. "At the same point, I want to make sure I make the best decision for me at this point in my career, and my family. I'm going to take my time and make the best decision possible."
Part of the reason Hoyer feels re-energized about the Browns is new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. The coach reached out to the quarterback, inviting Hoyer in for a face-to-face meeting. The talks were expansive, and they were encouraging.
"I really liked him,'' said Hoyer. "High-energy, you can tell he's excited to be here. And from our time together I really came away impressed as far as the person that he is. So it'll be interesting to see how things play out, if I get a chance to work with him. I'm glad I took the time to go and meet up with him.''
Both Hoyer and the Browns understand the opening of free agency is near. Because Hoyer was able to bring home seven victories in 13 starts last season, there will be other teams vying for the 29-year-old's services.
"The dust will all settle at some point and for me, free agency is still a month away,'' he said. "So a lot can happen from now and then, and from my standpoint, you just keep all options open.''
Listen to Cleveland Browns Daily today at 1 p.m. for even more discussion on this topic.
Three interesting NFL headlines
* Best Browns social media posts of the weekend*
Church and now moms cooking my favorite food! Great Sunday! Hope everyone have a blessed Sunday — Tashaun J. Gipson SR (@Gipson_duos24) February 8, 2015