An Example of Leadership

Take the time to show your kids examples of good leaders... and hopefully, good people.

The Cleveland Browns have been trying to find the “right fit” quarterback for many years now.  In the draft before this year, they chose two high profile players.  One was running back Trent Richardson whom they promptly traded to the Colts just a few weeks ago.  The other was Brandon Weeden, touted as the quarterback of the Brown’s future.

Weeden beat out incumbent quarterback Colt McCoy who was a fan favorite because the guy tried so hard and had so much heart.  He embodied a lot of Cleveland attitude.  But when Weeden unseated him as the starter, as a fan, I could “feel” the inability of the city to embrace him.  There were just some sort of intangible traits he was missing.

This year, despite a promising preseason, his first two regular season games came up short and the pressure of more losses looming began to mount.  The fans just seemed to observe that whatever “it” is, he just didn’t seem to have it.

The Cleveland Browns will pay Brandon Weeden $1,469,500 this year.

As fate and perhaps the ghost of Lou Gehrig would have it, Weeden sustained an injury in Game #2 and was replaced by third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Brian Hoyer came to the league as a rookie with the New England Patriots.  He was therefore mentored by future Hall of Famer quarterback Tom Brady.  It is clear Hoyer studied Brady’s keys to success as many have observed their similarities.  In Hoyer’s 2 starts he has won both games convincingly and humbly.  His approach to the game is a lot like Clevelanders approach their lives, families, jobs and sports addictions.  He’s an Ohio kid raised right around the Cleveland area and when he was interviewed in the post-game segment recently he expressed his happiness about the Brown’s victory and mentioned that it was even a bigger victory because he heard the Indians had won too that day and might be advancing in the baseball playoffs.  You could almost feel the collective group hug that this city wrapped around him at that point.  That “it” I was referring to earlier – he has it.

The Cleveland Browns will pay Brian Hoyer $715,000 this year.

Here’s what his fellow players have to say about him:

Cornerback Joe Haden:

“He comes off to the sideline and comes over to the defense and comes slapping us on the helmet,'' said Haden.  "He's just really involved . When you have a quarterback walking around that’s super-confident. It makes you feel better.  His release is really quick, he makes all the throws. He's just not afraid of the moment . He just stepped in there, no hesitation, and he just carries himself really well .''

Wide receiver Davone Bess:

"He has the competitive nature to get the job done.  He's playing well and it's just contagious. ''

Rookie tight end MarQueis Gray:

He's out there holding his players accountable , just keeping everyone in the game. Even when we're on the sidelines, he's harping on guys, and cheering on his teammates.  It gives our guys no choice but to make the play. He's moving well in the pocket, he's making checks when needed, getting the ball to guys, and overall knowing when we need to get the first down and keep the chains moving . He's doing a great job of leading our offense right now.

Receiver Josh Gordon:

“He just has that look of intensity in his eye all the time and we really can get behind it .  That's the great thing that we needed to see. Coming from his position, just from being a replacement guy, that’s what everybody thought at first, but he wanted to prove a lot more than that. He’s definitely got our full support , and we’re looking for him to lead us to victory .''

Now folks, I don’t know any more than any of you but it sure seems to me like Brian Hoyer is wired in for the long run.  If he becomes injured and is taken out of the game for some time like Weeden, what will the future hold for him?  Well let’s see, take any one of the underlined phrases noted in the quotes above and you see a picture evolving that paints a humble, strong, willing, listening, tuned-in, generous, intense LEADER!

If it meant he had to contribute as a second string, third string quarterback or a clipboard holder on the sidelines, he would do it.  If it contributed to the team and their success he would do whatever was asked.  He clearly doesn’t take himself too seriously OR too lightly.  He’s earning his pay, being loyal to those that rely on him and leading those who trust and count on him.  Everyone watching should take note here.  This is bigger that the NFL.  This is life and this kid is prepared.  Please take the time to point Brian Hoyer out to your children no matter what age.

Tell them the people that work with him rally behind him because:

  • He carries himself really well

  • He gets the job done

  • His competitive nature is contagious

  • He’s not afraid of the moment

  • He’s really involved

My 16-year old who is constantly asking me what I think he’ll be when he gets older always seems a little confused when I answer him with one word; “successful.”  You mean “rich?” he ponders.  I answer in the affirmative and add, “in all things – the least of which is money.”

I believe this is a time in our country when people need to step up and be all they are capable of leading; men and women alike.  Let’s show our children what it means to take pride in things again, to get involved, take charge and quit taking the easy way out.  This quarterback with the 1950’s value system is portraying everything I am talking about.  Don’t let his lessons fall on deaf ears.

Ron Ciancutti is the Director of Procurement for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at