The texting, which reportedly went to an assistant coach in the press box and unnamed team employees on the sidelines, could be a violation of NFL rules. They should be concerning for a team that should be working as one to support everyone trying to win games, not undercutting them.
Speaking at the Cleveland Home and Garden Show on Saturday, Hoyer said this of the text-message investigation that centers, sources said, on General Manager Ray Farmer: "To read the stories and see what’s going on, I’m just as interested as you guys are to see where that comes out. Especially because, when you read it it has to do with the quarterback situation and play-calling. That’s something that could affect how I feel about (free agency). For me, I’m looking forward to see what comes out of that."
There’s no way it would not, or should not, matter.
Quarterback play can always be second-guessed. A player’s talent level not named Brady or Rodgers is a matter of judgment. But Hoyer’s dedication and desire to the Browns were unwavering. He came back from a torn ACL and never missed a practice, he dealt with the drafting of and constant squawking for Johnny Manziel, he gave his best on the field, and at one point had the team at 7-4.
He remains the only Browns starting quarterback since 1999 with a winning record -- and maybe the only one to have his GM during a game second-guessing via texts to an assistant coach why he was on the field.
It’s self-defeating when any portion of the team is not behind the quarterback. That feeling becomes known and infects the organization and the team. Think back to Phil Savage, who constantly said that everyone in the organization -- everyone -- had to be on board with the quarterback selection.
Hoyer has a life decision to make, and if he learns that the man running the Browns front office, the man in charge of football in Cleveland, was working against him or second-guessing him during games, it absolutely has to enter Hoyer’s thinking. As Hoyer said on ESPN’s "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Monday: "If (the texts) had something that involved me, I’d like to be able to know what that was."
For those who say Hoyer should have risen above, a teammate responded this way: "You’re a human being."
The words of Bernie Kosar on Dec. 15 on WTAM come to mind, words that take on new meaning now that the Browns have gone through a tough stretch that has brought to light some disappointing realities about the 2014 team.
In a lengthy interview, Kosar said that the notion of anyone doing anything other than their job as the team tries to win "makes me want to throw up."
A front office official texting a coach or other team employee to second guess a player during a game is sticking his feelings where they do not belong, or put another way, it's not the GM’s or anyone’s job in the front office to send those texts.
It works against winning, as Kosar said.
"I don’t know anyone who can be consistently successful in winning within this culture and within this organization right now," Kosar said. "You just can’t play football like this."
Putting quarterbacks in this kind of structure is "almost abuse," he added.
"If you’re going to keep running it the way we’re running it, you may as well do nothing (with the quarterbacks)," Kosar said, "because we’ll kill two more kids who come in here."