Matt LaFleur Pumps Up Brian Hoyer As Packers Prep For Patriots Backup

LaFleur is quite familiar with Hoyer's work


September 28

Regardless of what Bill Belichick might have said Wednesday, the Packers are well aware they’ll likely see Brian Hoyer on the field Sunday for the Patriots.

The New England backup is expected to get the start in place of an ailing Mac Jones, despite any contentions he’s “day-to-day” with an apparent ankle injury.

While Hoyer might not present the same potential possessed by Jones, he’s a veteran who knows the system. He also has had some success at points in his NFL career. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has tangential connections to Hoyer, who played for LaFleur’s good friend Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. LaFleur’s brother, Mike LaFleur, also coached Hoyer in San Francisco and was a coaching intern for the Browns in 2014 when Hoyer appeared in a career-high 14 games.

“Brian Hoyer is a guy I’ve got a lot of respect for,” LaFleur said in his Wednesday press conference, as streamed by the team. “My brother was on that staff in Cleveland when he was a starter, and they had him again when he was in San Francisco as well. I remember watching a lot of the cut-ups from the ’14 season, and you could make the case and take all his great plays he made, and you would have thought he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

“He’s been doing it for a really long time, and he’s going to know their system inside and out. That always presents some challenges when you have a veteran versus a more inexperienced player. Although I don’t wanna take anything away from Mac. Mac has been unbelievable, obviously, having a Pro Bowl season last year and doing some great things this year, as well. Whoever’s out there, you just gotta adjust and adapt.”

LaFleur explained that it is slightly easier to prepare for a backup like Hoyer, who has similar physical traits to Jones. Both Jones and Hoyer are closer to traditional pocket passers than mobile QBs.

“I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of difference in their game plan with how they want to attack us.”

The Patriots will have their work cut out for them regardless of who’s taking snaps Sunday. Aside from a Week 1 showing in which Justin Jefferson torched them, the Packers’ defense impressed against the pass in Weeks 2 and 3. Joe Barry’s defense was especially stingy last week against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, limiting an admittedly shorthanded Bucs team to just 12 points.

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