Even though he has spent the last two years firmly planted behind Tom Brady on the quarterback depth chart, Hoyer has reveled in the opportunity to learn from the future Hall of Famer, and he has worked hard to take advantage of it.
But when Hoyer has the chance to get the better of Brady, you better believe he's going to enjoy it.
That's been the case with the training camp barrel drill, which takes place sporadically in practice. A coach will place a blue barrel in the corner of the end zone, and the quarterbacks will work on their drops before heaving a pass at the target. So far in camp, it has taken place at the 10-, 20- and 30-yard line, and the success rate isn't as high as you might imagine.
Hoyer, who beat Brady by a 4-1 mark in the 2010 camp competition, is tied atop the leaderboard again in 2011 — and he isn't exactly looking to surrender the crown.
"No, definitely not," Hoyer said. "It's a good drill for us to compete, and we have fun with it, so I'm always going to try to win that thing."
Hoyer, Ryan Mallett and Jonathan Crompton, who was released earlier in camp, have each hit the barrel once, while Brady is still trying to break the ice as the Patriots head into their preseason opener.
At one point last week, Brady came very close on three consecutive attempts, and he crouched over, clasped his hands against his knees and hung his head in disappointment as each wayward ball hit the grass.
Clearly, it's getting to him, and Hoyer loves it.
"He's ultra-competitive, as Ryan and I are, too," Hoyer said. "And to get him in something, it just feels good. We have a little trash talk going on between us."
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