FOXBORO, Mass. — Things are easier these days for Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. No, that’s not much of a revelation for a second-year player, but at the very least, it's a positive sign that he's taking advantage of his opportunities.
Last year, Hoyer was a nervous rookie who was a long shot to make the roster. This season, he's the team's unquestioned No. 2, and he's looked pretty good in training camp.
"There is a better comfort level, but things are always changing," Hoyer said Monday. "You've got to be prepared for anything. The one thing is I'm learning a little bit better now because I have a better understanding of it. Whether I'm in there taking the plays or sitting back watching Tom [Brady], knowing the whole play-call and knowing the read he's going through and how he runs through it, I can learn better through that."
Confidence works wonders for younger players, particularly at the most important position on the field. Last year, Hoyer might have been exerting all of his energy making sure he was doing things the right way. Now, he can pick up on things whether he's in the play or on the sideline.
Hoyer is in repayment mode, too. He learned from the likes of Kevin O'Connell and Matt Gutierrez in 2009, and the former Spartan has done his part to bring along rookie Zac Robinson during the last few months. It's all part of the growing process, which has treated Hoyer well so far.
"It's never easy to be the new guy and try to learn the new system, try to learn new faces, how people practice and things like that," Hoyer said. "[Robinson] asks questions the same way I asked questions last year, which is a good thing. I think he's doing a good job, and he fits in well with our quarterback room."