Backup QB Hoyer aces 'bucket' drill

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – One drill that has caught the attention of spectators at Patriots training camp is when quarterbacks drop back from various points on the field and attempt to land the football in a bucket/barrel.

The crowd reacts with each throw, following the flight of the ball in the air.

The roar that was heard this morning around 10:45 was a result of backup Brian Hoyer becoming the first quarterback to accomplish the feat, his pass from about the 20-yard line finding its way into the bottom of the barrel which was placed on the left-hand side of the end zone.

Hoyer celebrated after the throw, racing toward the sideline to salute his teammates.

“We’ve been going at that bucket drill for a couple days now, and it was exciting, seeing it go in,” he said. “I was worried about it bouncing out, but it stuck in there.”

Hoyer, who seems to be having a strong camp, explained why the quarterbacks are working on the drill.

“It’s getting the ball up and getting it to turn over, and obviously we’re working on accuracy,” he said. “It’s hard when it’s not a moving target. It’s easier when a receiver can adjust to the ball. You really need to focus on being accurate on that.”

The drill has brought out the competitive fire between Tom Brady, Hoyer and rookie Zac Robinson. Hoyer said Brady joked with him that his successful throw was from a shorter range, and that the competition will really heat up as they move even further away.

"We're back there kind of jabbing at each other, and it makes it that much more fun, especially when you're the first one to put it in," Hoyer said.