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Raiders Q&A: QB talks best NFL food cities, Tom Brady, longevity

Updated December 8, 2023 - 1:48 pm

Brian Hoyer, a backup quarterback for the Raiders, has had a fascinating NFL career.

The 38-year-old was undrafted but is in his 15th NFL season. He has played for eight teams and started games for seven of them, second-most in league history.

The Review-Journal spoke with Hoyer to learn a little more about him.

RJ: What would you tell a 20-year-old Brian Hoyer today about your NFL journey?

Hoyer: Be aware for a lot of twists and turns. Continue to learn and take it all in. You know, I feel like I am where I am today because I learned from a lot of great people. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Come in, work hard, and then on Sunday it’s about having fun. When you get an opportunity, try to make the most of it and be a good person. I think that carries a lot of weight.

RJ: What does longevity mean to you?

Hoyer: To have longevity in this league is about the more people that you know or played for — they are always looking for good players. And as long as you can prove that over and over again, that you can do the job, it goes a long way.

RJ: Do you have gear from every team you have played for?

Hoyer: Oh, yeah. Helmets, jerseys, I have too much gear.

RJ: You attended Michigan State. What was the best part?

Hoyer: I think, first and foremost, the camaraderie, the guys that I played with. After that, playing in the Big Ten, playing in Spartan Stadium, which is an electric atmosphere, beating Michigan my senior year. That was a big one and a long time coming. (Michigan State) has a great campus. It’s a great school.

RJ: You were with the Patriots when they won the 2019 Super Bowl. Where do you keep your championship ring?

Hoyer: I actually keep it in a safe. I don’t roll it out or wear it. The only time I’ve ever worn it is the night at the party when we got them.

RJ: Best food options in the cities you have played?

Hoyer: I’m a foodie, so there’s a lot. Houston was a top city for food because I feel like it had everything. It had Tex-Mex, barbecue, steakhouses, seafood. I grew really fond of Boston with the fresh seafood, Little Italy, the steakhouses, the fine dining. And then Vegas has been one of the tops just because of all the options that the casinos have. Even a few places off the Strip. I’m always searching. There’s a few more places I want to hit while I’m here.

RJ: You played with Tom Brady for years. What is something he’s actually bad at?

Hoyer: I mean, I’ve golfed with him. I’ve gone skiing with him. He’s pretty good at those things. The thing that I always look back on was how good of a person he is. I don’t think there’s anyone you can talk to who’s played with him who could find anything negative to say about the guy. He’s caring, he’s endearing. But then there’s like a switch flipped, and he’s demanding the most out of you no matter who you are. The backup quarterback, the punter, the defense. When they say rising tide lifts all boats, he was the definition of that. Everyone around him wanted to be at that level because you never wanted to disappoint him.

RJ: You were a high school baseball pitcher who won a state championship in Ohio. Ever think about following that path?

Hoyer: I did. I actually thought about a career in baseball way before I got recruited for football. At Michigan State, I intended to go play baseball after spring football. That dynamic shifted. They were like, ‘You’re competing as the backup as a redshirt freshman. You need to be around the football team.’ But baseball was my first love. It was the sport I was best at.

RJ: If you weren’t an NFL quarterback, what would you have been?

Hoyer: Baseball. I think if I would have put in the amount of work I put into football, if I were to put that into baseball, I think with determination, I could have handled that and been a professional.

Contact sports columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @edgraney on X.

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