The Texans signed quarterback Brian Hoyer to a two-year deal, reuniting him with his old position coach in New England, Bill O'Brien.

By Doug Farrar
March 10, 2015
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The NFL has invested time and again in Brian Hoyer's potential, based primarily on his experience as Tom Brady's backup in New England from 2009 through '11. Hoyer got his first shot as a prospective starter with the Cardinals in 2012, but he didn't do much, finishing the season with 30 completions in 53 attempts for 330 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He then had a shot with the Browns in 2013 and '14, amassing 299 completions in 534 attempts for 3,941 yards, 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Cleveland decided to move on from Hoyer after its flameout to end the 2014 season, and as Hoyer's time with the Browns was marked by injuries and a lack of receiver talent, he was probably just as happy to leave.

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[]Hoyer has rarely exhibited the kind of quarterback play that can overcome an average environment, and yet another team is about to take the plunge. The Texans have signed Hoyer to a two-year deal that will pay him somewhere in the region of $6 million per year. The deal reunites Hoyer with Bill O'Brien, who coached New England's quarterbacks in 2009 and 2010 and served as the team's offensive coordinator in 2012. The two had a good relationship in Foxboro, and O'Brien's incumbent options at quarterback in Houston were not anything special.

In 2014, Texans quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum and Tom Savage) combined for a 60.7 completion percentage, 22 touchdowns and 13 picks—efficient enough, but hardly earth-shattering. With Fitzpatrick out of the Texans' plans, it was an easy fit for the team to re-sign Mallett—which they've done with a two-year, $7 million deal—and add another quarterback O'Brien is familiar with in Hoyer.

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Grade: C

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In 2014, the Texans finished 9-7, benefiting from an improved defense, a sound running game, a weak division in the AFC South and the inhumanly great play of J.J. Watt. Their quarterback situation was iffy at best, and with Andre Johnson's release thinning out the wide receiver group, O'Brien will have to be proactive about improving the production coming from under center. Hoyer has worked with O'Brien before, and he's proven to be a developmental prospect for the most part. Perhaps the Texans can get more out of Hoyer than any other team has, but if the Texans want to one-up the Colts and take control of the AFC South, they'll have to do better than Patriots retreads.

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