Training Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

Tom Brady

A closer look at the roster as training camp arrives. Part one of the series we look at quarterbacks.

QUARTERBACKS:
Starter -- Tom Brady.
Backups -- Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett.

About to turn 35, Brady shows no signs of slowing down at this point. His 105.6 rating from last fall was the third-best of his career as he topped 5,000 yards for the first time and notched 39 touchdowns, second-highest of his career.

With the addition of Brandon Lloyd at receiver, there is no reason Brady can't continue to put up huge numbers for one of the best offenses in football. He's battled some lingering arm problems over the years and probably doesn't have quite the same zip he once had on his throws, but what he's lost in physical tools he's gained in experience and mechanical improvements. Hoyer is heading into his fourth season after not getting any interest in restricted free agency.

Though he threw just a single pass in 2011, he is clearly comfortable in the New England offense at this point, and some believe he could be a starter in the league. But there remain questions about his arm strength and overall physical tools. Mallett has worked hard in his first year-plus in New England.

He's the opposite of Hoyer in that he has a rocket arm and great size, but has yet to look comfortable in his reads and decision making. Either way he's the backup of the future, and if all goes well could be Brady's heir.

INSIDER'S TAKE:  Jon Scott (@jscottNFL) There is no reason to think that Mallett or Hoyer will get significant playing time without a serious injury to Brady.  Should that happen, it's doubtful Mallett has absorbed enough of the offense to carry the team the way Matt Cassel did in 2008.   Hoyer, despite his experience, has limited upside, and some pro evaluators wonder if he'll be anything more than a career backup.

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