Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas made an unexpected comparison on Monday, saying Browns incumbent starting quarterback Brian Hoyer — a.k.a. the guy most everyone assumes will eventually be Johnny Manziel's backup — reminds him of New England Patriots superstar Tom Brady.
Then again, Thomas has spent all seven of his NFL seasons in Cleveland, so maybe he's getting a bit loopy. After all, after spending year upon year protecting the likes of Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn and Seneca Wallace — just to name a handful of the Browns' 11 starting quarterbacks since 2007 — maybe just about anyone might start looking like one of the all-time greats.
"He's a lot like Tom Brady," Thomas said at Cleveland.com of Hoyer, who spent three years in New England as Brady's backup. "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."
Normally I'd take Thomas' word for it. This is a guy who has made the Pro Bowl every season he's been in the league; and that's a huge accomplishment, especially considering where he plays.
And, to be fair, Hoyer hasn't had much chance to prove himself. The role of Brady's backup isn't really much of a showcase. And Hoyer won all three of the games he started for the Browns last year before a torn ACL ended his season.
Still, would the Browns have drafted Johnny Football in the first round (22nd overall) if they really had the next Brady on their hands?
No matter, Thomas said. Such competition will only bring out the best in Hoyer.
"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."
So Hoyer is the ultimate competitor? Take that, Peyton Manning. But like I said, Thomas has spent his entire career with the Browns. My guess is one's perception of reality may start to get a bit distorted after a while.