Despite the worst statistical performance of his career in the Super Bowl, Tom Brady made a great play when the New England Patriots and was instrumental in helping them win a sixth title.
However, he was not the only one in the Patriots quarterback room that helped New England win. As Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reveals in his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column this week, Hoyer's football knowledge helped the Patriots defend one of the best performances in Super Bowl history.
The New England defense kept the Los Angeles Rams high power in just three points with the help of Hoyer.
One of the most important roles of the backup quarterback is to execute the scout team's offense and give the first team defense a look at the opposing offense. Hoyer's status as a veteran helps with that, but it was his familiarity with the offensive philosophies of the Rams that made him especially suited to help the Patriots prepare.
From the Breer column:
Hoyer started his career in New England, but had his first opportunity as a starter in Cleveland. In 2014, his second year there, he started 11 games for coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and then played for Shanahan again in San Francisco at # 17. Rams head coach Sean McVay trained tight ends for Mike and Kyle Shanahan in Washington between 2010 and 2013, which led Hoyer to believe he would have some institutional knowledge of McVay's offense.
Before the Super Bowl, he watched an episode of Peyton Manning's Detail series on ESPN-Plus in Goff, and hit him immediately: the offense is the same. Watching the tape of the Rams confirmed it. Then, he saw an interview on the NFL Network in which Goff and McVay talked about the fact that the coach was in the quarterback's ear until the 15-second cut in the game clock, which was something that Shanahan did with Hoyer Then, Hoyer returned to Amazon's "All or Nothing" series on the Rams; It was about the 2016 season, but I had OTA images of McVay's first spring there. Hoyer recognized the language.
"I guess that's the risk of you getting like this," Hoyer joked by telephone on Sunday.
Breer, with the help of Devin and Jason McCourty, also told a story about how Hoyer noticed something in the Patriots' defense playing near the line of scrimmage earlier in the season. Hoyer correctly pointed out that if he was the quarterback, he would simply throw the ball deep and try to take advantage of the secondary that is playing near the line. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers had some success with that, forcing the Patriots to adapt during the season.
And that led to cornerback Stephon Gilmore playing a little behind on the game's most important play when the Patriots attacked Rams quarterback Jared Goff at the end of the fourth quarter, which led him to get rid of his foot back and it took him to an interception to save the game. for Gilmore.
Hoyer knew even before the game began that there could be a special performance for the New England defense.
"They had everything covered, I was like," or these guys know what all our plays are, or they're going to go to the game, "Hoyer told Breer. "You could see it, they were playing so fast, they were so above that, and you get to the game, and they go and they have the best defensive performance I've ever witnessed."
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Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports images