Brian Hoyer once served as Tom Brady's backup in New England, but for most people, that's where the similarities between the two end. Not for Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, who spoke glowingly of Hoyer, the early favorite to win the starting job over rookie first-rounder Johnny Manziel.
"He's a lot like Tom Brady,'' Thomas said Monday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. "When you look at the way he competes and the way he demands the most out of everybody around him, it's no coincidence that those guys played together. (Hoyer) has a lot of those same mental attributes and that's a great thing for a quarterback to have.
"He's the ultimate competitor, and no matter if we drafted a quarterback No. 1 overall, I knew that in his mind he expects to win the job because that's the type of competitor he is and the type of quarterback.''
And while Thomas isn't implying that Hoyer will lead the Browns to three Super Bowls titles, leadership -- especially on a team that regularly finishes in the AFC North basement -- can't be overstated.
"He has less starts than probably almost any rookie that's out there starting right now, but he commands a level of respect because of the way he goes about doing his business the right way and acting like he is the starting quarterback that has taken us to five playoffs.
"I think it's that attitude and that swagger that demands respect," Thomas continued. "And, he also goes and backs it up out on the field. He throws the ball to the right person. He's doing things and getting everybody on the same page. That's just as much the role of a quarterback as throwing touchdown passes."
Over the weekend, owner Jimmy Haslam also spoke highly of Hoyer -- in the same conversation in which he said he expects better from Manziel.
On Hoyer: "He handles himself extremely well. Is there a better story? First of all, he's a hometown kid. He's coming off an injury. We all want him to do well. He's a quality guy and a class act, so we all want Brian to play well."
Ultimately, Hoyer knows that words don't mean much.
"When it comes down to it, all that matter is what happens on the field,'' he said Saturday. "No one is going to cheer for a good guy if they're 4-12. It's good to know that people respect me and my character, but for me, when it comes down to it, it's all about what happens out on the field.''