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Brian Hoyer Has System Comfort At QB

Posted Dec 12, 2012

Notebook: Cards have options at center; Bidwill named to NFL foundation board

New quarterback Brian Hoyer lets loose a pass under the watchful eye of quarterbacks coach John McNulty.

There was a sense of familiarity when Brian Hoyer arrived at the Cardinals’ training facility Tuesday morning.

From the meetings to the offense to the terminology, there were bits and pieces of each that Hoyer had seen before. After spending the past three weeks with the Pittsburgh Steelers under former Cardinals and current Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Hoyer was waived Saturday only to be picked up by Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, a former Steelers’ assistant.

“You can see the similarities in how the meetings are run and things like that,” Hoyer said. “I was only there for three weeks learning that system and I was just starting to get it. Now you come here where there are similarities but there are different tweaks and things like that, so I’m going to be busy this week even when I leave this building trying to figure it out and translate it in my head.”

With three weeks left in the season, Hoyer isn’t concerned with learning every page of the playbook. He’s focused on absorbing this week’s installation, which includes the Cardinals’ base offense and protection and then it’ll be onto another set of plays next week. It’s the only way Hoyer could see the field Sunday against Detroit, if he’s even on the active roster come kickoff.

Hoyer said he hasn’t discussed playing time or the future with coaches or the front office but there’s no rush to play him.

“He’s got to learn the offense,” Whisenhunt said. “He does at least have some familiarity with it, but we’ll get a chance to see what he looks like on the practice field and see what he can handle.”

He hasn’t thrown a pass this season but has a 62.8 completion percentage for his career. Hoyer was cut by the New England Patriots in training camp after three seasons and didn’t sign with another team until Nov. 20. But Hoyer quickly got his football legs back in Pittsburgh after splitting first-team reps with Charlie Batch and running the scout team.

When his phone rang Monday evening, Hoyer let it go to voicemail. He didn’t recognize the Phoenix area code. On the other end was Jason Licht, the Cards’ director of player personnel, who knew Hoyer from their New England days, informing the quarterback he had been claimed.

For Hoyer, it was another opportunity this season. For the Cardinals, it was another option at a struggling position.

“This is going to be a crash course for me,” Hoyer said. “I’m going to try to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can.”

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Monday’s news that Rich Ohrnberger – who was already replacing starting center Lyle Sendlein – was placed on injured reserve, the Cardinals started practice Wednesday with an open tryout at center.

Rookie Scott Wedige, who finished the Sunday’s game in Seattle in place of Ohrnberger, who left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury, is one option. So are both guards, Adam Snyder and Daryn Colledge, and newcomer Mike Gibson, who was signed Wednesday to fill the roster spot left void by Kevin Kolb heading to IR.

“We’ve got some guys that have played that position before,” Whisenhunt said. “So we’re going to work those guys in it too and see how we feel about it as the week progresses.”

Snyder played center for “about 25” snaps last season with the San Francisco 49ers and started the entire 2011 preseason at center. Colledge has never played center in a game.

“There’s a lot of responsibly on the center,” Snyder said. “We have smart guys so that helps the situation. Really, the most important thing is getting the snap and the center exchange with the quarterback and just getting the feel with him. Some guys have their hands differently and some guys snap short, snap long so you just have to get that rhythm down. Once you get that down we should be good to go.”

BIDWILL NAMED TO NEW LEAGUE BOARD

Cardinals president Michael Bidwill was recently appointed to the board of the newly created National Football League Foundation by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The foundation is the product of restructuring NFL Charities and the NFL Youth Football Fund, according to a league release. The National Football League Foundation “will be able to devote more resources to its goal of making a difference in the lives of those touched by football.”

The foundation plans to award more than $23 million in grants in 2013 in support of youth and high school football programs, health and safety efforts, and community health initiatives.

WILLIAMS, DOUCET, TALLEY SIT OUT

NT Dan Williams (hamstring), WR Early Doucet (concussion) and DE Ronald Talley (ankle) did not practice Wednesday.

Limited were DE Calais Campbell (calf), DT Nick Eason (ankle), TE Rob Housler (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (abdomen), WR Andre Roberts (ankle), CB Greg Toler (hamstring).

Four Detroit starters – TE Brandon Pettigrew (ankle), CB Chris Houston (hamstring), CB Jacob Lacey (foot/achilles) and S Louis Delmas (knee) – missed practice. WR Calvin Johnson (knee) was limited.

 

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