The growth of Brian Hoyer was a common topic of conversation on Wednesday at NRG Stadium.
At 6-foot-2, the Texans quarterback won't get any taller.
But between his ears, and between the white lines on Sundays he's grown a lot. Both in 2015, and since he was a Patriots rookie in 2009.
"He knows the game a lot better," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He understands the pro-game. With experience in different systems and kind of, like I have said all along about Brian having to go through a
lot in his career, being injured, being cut, he has a lot of resiliency, mental toughness, very bright guy, so yeah, he has grown a ton since I had him in 2009."
Hoyer and O'Brien were together in New England for three seasons. A detour by Hoyer to Arizona in 2012, with a pair of campaigns immediately after in Cleveland, wound his NFL journey down to Houston last spring. From the time Hoyer arrived to now, offensive coordinator George Godsey has been impressed with his quarterback's seasoning.
"I think the more experience with each series, with each play actually, you get better as a quarterback," Godsey said. "Brian's now played for quite a few years. He's started for quite a few games. I think with each game there's growth."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick echoed those sentiments, and said Hoyer's maturation as a signal caller
was stunted because his first three years saw him on the same team with future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
"The big thing with Brian was he never got a chance to play here, which was a good thing for the team but kind of bad for him," Belichick said. "All his game experience was kind of for the most part preseason games, unlike [Matt] Cassel, who had a chance in 2008 to play 15 games. Brian was never in that position for us. He didn't get that opportunity until later, and he obviously made the most of it."
The seventh-year pro is focused on one thing above all else: consistency.
"I think you can't just have moments where you have a great play and then moments where it's not very good," Hoyer said. "I think that's kind of where our offense needs to get better. We can't have a good drive and then go out and have a penalty or whatever it might be."
Hoyer's tossed 18 touchdowns to just six interceptions, and has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,202 yards.