Playing in the NFL is not an easy gig. The level of competition is the highest in the world and it's a physical game that can take its toll on players mentally and physically.
Now, imagine playing behind Tom Brady, arguably one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen (and yes, I'm biased as a New England fan).
That's the dubious distinction for Bryan Hoyer, the former Michigan State Spartan who went undrafted and signed a contract with the Patriots just four days after the draft.
The Boston Globe did a feature on Hoyer recently, talking about his experience with the Patriots and the job he has as back-up to Brady.
"I think there was a moment in that first [regular-season] game where it was like, ‘All right, I made it.’ And then it’s on to, ‘All right, work has to be done,’ ’’ Hoyer told the Globe. “I think it’s appropriate to take a step back and realize the accomplishment, but then you get right back to work and get back to getting better."
During this years preseason, Hoyer has performed pretty well. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 106 yards against the Saints and completed 8 of 15 passes for 94 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown to rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski, against the Falcons.
As we saw Matt Cassell a few years ago, Brady isn't an iron man. He is human and can be injured like everyone else. Cassell stepped in and lead the team to a near playoff berth.
Now, is Hoyer better than Cassell? Who really knows. What I do know is that being the number two guy in the Patriots system can't be an easy thing because you're one injury away from a boat load of expectations.
Article first published as Playing in the Shadow of Tom Brady on Technorati.