QUARTERBACK BRIAN HOYER
September 28, 2022
Q: What's up Axel?
BH: Thanks a lot [Matthew] Slater.
Q: How would you describe the way practice went today, taking over?
BH: I mean, I did this two Thursdays ago too. Practiced and ran the whole practice. For me, it's fun. To be able to get out there and take some reps with those guys, maybe I haven't done since training camp. I enjoy it. You know, go through and prepare to play, and see how it goes.
Q: Brian, you've been through this before, what's your basic approach to this week, in an unknowing week?
BH: My approach is the same always. Whether I get reps or I don't get reps, you always got to be ready to play. As we saw on Sunday, you're only one play away. I mean, that was the last offensive play of the game, so it didn't really come up that day. But, it's the nature of your job and the business that we're in. Always try to be as prepared as I can, whether I'm taking every rep in practice or I'm taking none. It's just a day-by-day process and how we're handling it and go from there.
Q: Kind of an odd feeling though, isn't it, just in terms of you're in the room with Mac [Jones], you're helping him along, and now you have your opportunity. I'm sure there's part of you that feels bad for what happened?
BH: Of course. You never want to see anyone get hurt, ever. And we all know Mac's hunger to compete, to be out there. For me, you support him, but also be ready to play, in the same sense. That's just the nature of the job.
Q: We've seen you in training camps, minicamps, all the way through, but for a lot of fans, the last time they saw you compete was in that Kansas City game. It's worth reminding folks, this week, that it was a weird week.
Q: Cam [Newton] was down with COVID, I think you guys played on a Tuesday and the plane went out. It wasn't your best game.
Q: So in trying to add context to that and in saying, 'the guy, he's still a good player…'
BH: I don't think I'd still be here if I wasn't, so.
Q: Right. So, when you look at this week and you have the full lead up and you know what's going on, are you still, even at your age, anxious to say, 'I'm going to dispatch that memory from Kansas City'?
BH: I mean look, I've played for 14 years, I have a lot of bad memories. I have a lot of good memories, too. One game doesn't define me, one play doesn't define me. I'm excited for any opportunity I get to go play. I really could [not] care less about that.
Q: Brian, how significant is the difference going into a game coming off of a week where you've had full practices, starter reps, versus a game like that, when you presumably had none?
BH: Look, it's obviously more beneficial than finding out Saturday morning that Cam [Newton] has COVID and I'm thinking to myself, 'I have COVID, I was around him all day yesterday.' That was a unique year, a unique situation. For me, if I get to take more practice reps, that obviously is beneficial and hopefully you take that. Coach Belichick always says … practice execution becomes gameday reality. I know Julien [Edelman] likes to use that one a lot. I've heard it a million times. Obviously, hope it translates to that.
Q: Along those lines too, in terms of gameplan and stuff like that, how have those discussions gone about what you like and what you would want to run during the game on Sunday?
BH: I think it's the same as always. We always, whether it's me and Mac [Jones] or Matt [Patricia] or Joe [Judge], there's always an ongoing conversation of that. I don't think it really changes much. I think we all kind of see it the same way, and it's really game plan oriented. What does their defense do? How do we want to attack them? That type of thing.
Q: How is this your third stick with the Patriots and we just found out your real name is Axel and how did you get the name?
BH: My dad's name is Axel. I know I saw Albert Breer thought maybe it was like Beverley Hills Cop. It's actually a family name. No, it's A-x-e-l. My dad's from Germany, so I think it's a pretty common name there. I think my mom gave him the okay, like 'we'll name him Axel, but I'm only ever going to call him Brian.' It's all I've ever known. First and second grade roll call was always rough when the teacher would call out Axel and all the kids would laugh at me. Eventually my parents sent in a note and said, 'he goes by Brian.'
Q: When you guys are implementing a new look offense how much confidence do you have in yourself to go out and execute it? How difficult is it to build camaraderie and trust with the receivers when you don't get as many reps as Mac [Jones]?
BH: I think you kind of go back to training camp. You get a lot of reps with everyone. Training camp is also you talk about the "new" look offense. I've said it before, offense is new ever year. Whether it was Josh [McDaniels] year, after year, after year, we were adding something, taking things out. It's always adjusting to your players, who you're going to be playing against. So I feel confident with that level of it. It's obviously good to get more — come back in the swing and get more reps with the guys that I maybe haven't been taking with. But I have a great confidence level in all of those guys, the receivers, the tight ends, the running backs — obviously the offensive line are all guys I know very well and have known them for over a year now.
Q: It's been six years since you were in a similar situation, with Chicago, backing up Jay Cutler, going into Lambeau, to play the Packers. Obviously got hurt that game...
BH: Yeah that's a bad memory
Q: Obviously you've played since then. How have things changed for you from that point? It was the last time you've played the Packers. Been almost six years. What are you taking from all that time into this game?
BH: Anytime you get a chance to play at Lambeau, I think that's a pretty cool experience there. I heard Devin [McCourty] talking about it. It's a historic place. A historic organization. Obviously my first and only time, didn't get to finish it off the way I like due to the injury. But it's a great opportunity. Anytime you get to go in there and play. They're obviously a great team. They have gone deep in the playoffs for however many years. They have a great quarterback in Aaron [Rodgers]. Their defense, you look all around, they're very solid. Whether it's the D-line, the linebackers, the defensive backs. It's a unique challenge. I think I heard today they're like 13-2 in their last 15 home games. So it's obviously a hostile environment to go into. But it's always a great opportunity to see where you're at too.
Q: Where are you at in your career, as far as this opportunity? You're doing what you do, obviously because you love the game. How do you look at it? You've been year-to-year. How do you look at an opportunity? How exciting is this for you?
BH: At this point you don't know how many chances like this you get anymore. So obviously, it's a part of the job. You're always ready to play. So for me, it's an opportunity to go out there and have fun, and go out and execute really. Have fun. I really love my teammates, what they do, how hard they work. So an opportunity to go out there and play with those guys.