Considering the Steelers had just signed Hoyer two-and-a-half weeks earlier, on Nov. 20, it was a curious move, but Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin felt they just had to have an extra defensive back for depth in an ailing secondary.
Quick quiz: Who was that extra defensive back the Steelers added to the roster on Dec. 8, 2012? That was the day they released Hoyer.
|Josh Victorian, in a Steelers uniform in 2012|
Victorian, dreadlocks and all, wore No. 35 for the Steelers during those last four games of the 2012 season, three of which were losses.
He got in on 10 tackles. The three losses started the very next day after the Steelers released Hoyer: Horrifically, to the Chargers at home in the snow; to the Cowboys at Dallas, where Tony Romo absolutely lit up the Pittsburgh secondary; and also an ugly last-minute loss to the Bengals at Heinz Field. We have vague but unpleasant memories of Victorian struggling in those losses, particularly against the Chargers.
What may have happened had the Steelers kept Hoyer and released another player instead from that roster?
Who knows? Maybe Bruce Gradkowski would be the starting quarterback for the Browns on Sunday instead of Hoyer. Maybe even Johnny Manziel?
One thing is certain, though: The Browns wouldn't be enjoying the resurgence of hope and spark of life Hoyer has injected into that long-dormant, miserable life form of a franchise. Hoyer's played extremely well this year and has quieted virtually all talk of Johnny Football taking over. In four games this year, Hoyer has been crisp and efficient, completing 62.1% of his passes, throwing just one interception and getting sacked just five times. His QB rating is 97.7. He's thrown for 1,008 yards.
Just for fun, check out the series of roster moves the Steelers made during that ill-fated 2012 season, courtesy of Wikipedia:
- On September 7, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent (CB) DeMarcus Van Dyke to a 1-year contract.
- On October 16, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers signed (DE) Corbin Bryant to the active roster, signed (G) Jacques McClendon to the practice squad and released (TE) Jamie McCoy.
- On October 20, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted (OL) John Malecki to the active roster and released (DE) Corbin Bryant.
- On October 27, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted (S) Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith to the active roster and released (OL) John Malecki.
- On November 12, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted (WR) David Gilreath to the active roster and released (NT) Alameda Ta'amu.
- On November 15, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted (LB) Marshall McFadden to the active roster and signed (TE) Jamie McCoy to the practice squad.
- On November 20, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers signed unrestricted free agent (WR) Plaxico Burress and free agent (QB) Brian Hoyer to 1-year contracts and also released (RB) Baron Batch and (LB) Marshall McFadden.
- On November 26, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted (OL) John Malecki to the active roster and released (WR) David Gilreath.
- On December 8, 2012 the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted (CB) Josh Victorian to the active roster and released (QB) Brian Hoyer.