San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer doesn’t have a lot of expectations in 2017. But is there a realistic chance he’s actually good this upcoming season? Niner Noise explores the possibility.
Here’s a weird thought — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer could actually be pretty good this upcoming season.
Strange, I know. Especially for an undrafted free agent who has never found a long-term home at the NFL level.
NFL Spin Zone
Knowledge of the system is key, which is a main reason the Niners brought Hoyer in as a free agent this offseason.
Still, Hoyer isn’t widely viewed as legitimate starting material.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport explained this to KNBR 680 last March:
"Look, Brian Hoyer is not Tom Brady, but he is a very good quarterback. I mean when he has played, he’s been really good. I think the problem with Brian Hoyer is, and I hate this, but he was an undrafted free agent. And you just cannot get over that in this ridiculous world. I think if he was a second-round pick, nobody would be all about Brian Hoyer."
On the positive side of things, Hoyer has a 16-15 record as a starter. That must account for something. And he had a 91.4 and 98.0 passer rating, mostly in starting roles, during 2015 and 2016, respectively.
So is there a serious chance Hoyer plays the overachiever role with San Francisco?
Training Camp — So Far, So Good
Talk, chatter and stats only go so far, especially with a new team surrounding the quarterback.
But early results have been positive for the most part.
So is receiving praise from another receiver, Pierre Garcon.
“Before I got here, I didn’t know he could throw the ball that far … I didn’t know his arm was that strong,” Garcon said, via Eric Branch of SFGate.com. “He’s definitely a great communicator. He likes to talk to guys after plays and get feedback. Those are the two things that’s stood out to me most.”
If this trend continues, Hoyer might actually be in good shape to effectively run Shanahan’s offense this season.
Conflicting Opinions and Long-Term Prognosis
Despite Hoyer’s prospects for a good year, the veteran quarterback still has his detractors, including Niner Noise’s own Rich Madrid.
Prior to camp, Madrid felt Matt Barkley, not Hoyer, was the best option this season.
It was a unique argument, based primarily on film, and it’s worth considering. Equally as interesting, though, is Niner Noise’s Chris Wilson’s look at why Hoyer deserves the nod.
Perhaps he even excels in it.
Even if Hoyer winds up performing well enough this season, almost every analysis points to him being little more than a stopgap option until the Niners can find a long-term solution under center.
We shouldn’t go as far as saying Hoyer will mentor the next Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback in San Francisco, but it’s worth pointing out nonetheless.
Hoyer may wind up being that kind of role model for a young QB in the near future.
In the meantime, any noteworthy play on the field is merely a bonus.