BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Brian Hoyer was always a hero for the Browns in his backyard. This week, he will try to be one in front of 73,000 fans. Not only will Hoyer make his second straight start at quarterback for Cleveland on Sunday, he will do it at home for the team he's always loved, against the rival Cincinnati Bengals and in front of family and friends.
For a kid who wanted to be Bernie Kosar when he grew up, Hoyer is following No. 19's footsteps onto the field. "It will be awesome,'' Hoyer said. On Wednesday, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Hoyer will start again for injured Brandon Weeden, who is still recovering from a sprained right thumb and isn't ready to play.
Hoyer filled in for Weeden last week in Minnesota and threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 51 seconds left, as the Browns beat the Vikings 31-27. Chudzinski is not making any long-term plans at quarterback. "We'll just approach it from a week-to-week basis and see where everybody's at and we'll make the best decision for what I determine gives us the best chance to win,'' he said. Hoyer completed 30 of 54 passes for 321 yards.
The former third-stringer overcame three interceptions and showed poise and confidence while leading the Browns to the comeback win. "He came in and played with great composure,'' Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. "Obviously, this was his first live snaps with the No. 1s and he did a great job just seamlessly coming in and throwing the ball on time where it needed to go, saying the play in the huddle confidently, directing the offense. Those are the type of things that were impressive.''
Hoyer was critical of his own performance, especially the three picks. "The interceptions were just bad decisions,'' Hoyer said. "Things that I should have known better and you learn from it and you move on. Football is football. You get out there, you play and you get into a rhythm and you do the best you can.''
Hoyer said of all the former Cleveland quarterbacks, he most relates to Kosar, who led the Browns to three AFC title games and remains one of Cleveland's most beloved athletes. "He sent me a message and a text,'' Hoyer said.
"That was pretty cool. You look down at your phone and it says, `Hey, this is Bernie Kosar.' To me, when I used to wear the jersey in the backyard to now getting a message from him is pretty cool.''