BEREA, Ohio (AP) — As a boy, Brian Hoyer spent many chilly Sundays with his dad sitting in cavernous Cleveland Stadium rooting for their beloved Browns.
For the youngster, there was no place better — even if their seats weren't so great.
"They were behind one of the posts," Hoyer said with a smile, remembering the challenge of cheering on idols like Bernie Kosar and Ozzie Newsome. "It was kind of hard to see."
On Sunday, Hoyer's family, countless friends and Cleveland fans will have an unobstructed view of the hometown kid, who was always the hero while wearing his No. 19 Kosar jersey in the backyard.
Hoyer, who rallied the Browns to a shocking win last week at Minnesota, will make his second straight start at quarterback against the rival Cincinnati Bengals and in front of 73,000 fans.
"It means a lot," he said Wednesday. "It will be awesome."
With starter Brandon Weeden still sidelined with a sprained right thumb, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski will again turn to Hoyer, who threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 51 seconds left, as Cleveland beat the Vikings 31-27.
In just his second NFL start, Hoyer overcame three interceptions, threw for 321 yards and rallied the Browns (1-2) to their first win to close a tumultuous week that included the trade of star running back Trent Richardson.
Hoyer's encore wasn't guaranteed as Chudzinski said he would leave his options open. The decision became easier with Weeden still unable to throw since getting hurt two weeks ago against Baltimore. Chudzinski said Weeden is progressing and could resume throwing this week.
Hoyer, who jumped from No. 3 on the depth chart, is starting for now. Chudzinski doesn't have to make any long-term plans at quarterback and intends to keep things fluid.
"We'll just approach it from a week-to-week basis and see where everybody's at and we'll make the best decision for what I determine gives us the best chance to win," he said.
Hoyer earned a second shot with his performance in the ear-piercing Metrodome. The 27-year-old, who spent three seasons as Tom Brady's backup in New England, displayed Brady-like poise and confidence while leading the Browns to the comeback win.
"He came in and played with great composure," Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. "Obviously, this was his first live snaps with the No. 1s and he did a great job just seamlessly coming in and throwing the ball on time where it needed to go, saying the play in the huddle confidently, directing the offense. Those are the type of things that were impressive."
Hoyer was much more critical, and he was especially disappointed by the three picks.
"Bad decisions," Hoyer said.
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