HOUSTON -- This is a big week for Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer. For his career and his future. This game sets the tone for the rest. It's a chance to be a starting quarterback, the second time he's had the chance to be an opening day starter.
But Hoyer is not letting his mind wander to such thoughts of the grand scheme of his career. He's narrowed his focus.
"I’m so focused on how we’re going to beat Kansas City, that's all that’s going through my mind," Hoyer said yesterday. "As I’m sitting here talking to you guys, I’m thinking about what they’re going to do in the red area and how they’re going to play us on third down."
It's what his coach would want him to say. O'Brien was asked on Monday about potential playoff aspirations and would say nothing other than that he was focused on Kansas City.
Hoyer spent two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He won three starts there in 2013 before suffering a torn ACL. Then he was the opening day starter in 2014, in a situation that was tenuous because of the disagreement within the organization about first-round pick Johnny Manziel. Hoyer went 10-6 in games he started for Cleveland, going 7-6 last season.
Here he has a chance to prove he can be a starting NFL quarterback without such external threats, though his position isn't safe. Texans coach Bill O'Brien has made clear that if Hoyer struggles, he won't be afraid to pull him.
Hoyer isn't concerning himself with all that, though. Even in explaining his excitement, he's narrowing his focus to what he'll experience this Sunday.
"I haven’t played a regular season game here since my rookie year when I was with the Patriots," Hoyer said. "I remember the crowd being loud then. Now, from what I hear, when they start playing ‘Turn Down for What’ this place is going to be rocking. I’m looking forward to seeing that."