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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: CFL teammate calls out ex-Patriots WR Chad Johnson for lack of effort 08.07.14 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Cardinals, 7:15 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Rockies, 3 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Orioles at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: White Sox at Mariners, 10 p.m. (WGN)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Washington, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: 49ers at Ravens, 7:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
NFL preseason: Cowboys at Chargers, 10:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Onetime Patriots wide receiver Chad Johnson, a.k.a. Chad Ochocinco, is making new enemies north of the border, and for similar reasons why he lasted only season in New England.

Johnson is toiling in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes, and he has just four catches for 78 yards and one touchdown for his 1-4 team. Coach Tom Higgins admitted he treats Johnson differently because of what he accomplished in 11 NFL seasons, indicating that he allows him to start and “gives him the benefit of the doubt” despite his meager production.

That doesn’t sit well with at least one teammate, who claims Johnson does not put enough effort into playing hard and learning the playbook.

“We’re trying to win here,” the anonymous teammate told the Montreal Gazette. “This isn’t some [expletive] vacation league. Put the best players on the field that want to play.

“One position [receiver] has free reign to do whatever they want and aren’t accountable to anything. It doesn’t matter what they do or how they perform.”

Meanwhile, Johnson’s apparently delusional agent, Drew Rosenhaus, seems to think his client has a chance to return to the NFL.

“If they did [call], he would jump for it,” Rosenhaus told ESPN.com. “Of course, he would love it. But right now, he’s operating as a Canadian Football League player. We will see what happens. It’s not like we’re holding our breath that he’s going to play in the NFL. But he’s trying. That’s the goal.”

Added Rosenhaus: “He would tell you that he could still do it better than anybody. He doesn’t lack confidence or enthusiasm.”

MASHUP POLL: What are the chances Chad Johnson returns to the NFL this season?

  • Less than zero (47%, 183 Votes)
  • Zero (42%, 161 Votes)
  • Miniscule (6%, 23 Votes)
  • Small, but it could happen if a team's entire WR corps gets hurt (5%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 387

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Johnson played 11 NFL seasons, 10 with the Bengals, catching 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 82 touchdowns. But he struggled in his lone season in New England, catching just 15 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown, amid reports that he never mastered the playbook. He was cut from the Dolphins in training camp the following season after a domestic incident with his then-wife, which eventually landed him in jail. Now he’s found a home — at least temporarily — in Montreal as he tries to extend his career.

“He just loves playing football — Chad is a guy that will play football until he’s 50 if they let him,” Rosenhaus said. “He loves the game. He’s really very passionate. He’s got to do something with football, it’s just his life. It really is. All his Twitter followers are enjoying him in Canada just like they would in the NFL. It’s nice to see.”

Brian Hoyer will start the Browns’ preseason opener Saturday against the Lions, with first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel expected to get some playing time with the starters after showing improvement in practice this week.

“That was his job,” coach Mike Pettine said of Hoyer, who impressed early last season before getting injured. “He was the one coming into it. We did want to mix the groups up coming into it, as we did, but he’s done nothing to have that taken away from him, so he’ll be out there with the starters.”

Added Pettine: “They’ve both made improvement, and I think they’re both doing a great job of playing to their skill sets. It’s obviously very different, what they bring to the table. I think Brian’s starting to feel very comfortable in the pocket.”

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Read More: Brian Hoyer, Chad Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, Johnny Manziel
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Browns’ Brian Hoyer, Bills’ EJ Manuel suffer knee injuries in Cleveland’s win 10.04.13 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB playoffs: Rays at Red Sox, 3:07 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
MLB playoffs: Pirates at Cardinals, 1:07 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB playoffs: Dodgers at Braves, 6:07 p.m. (TBS)
MLB playoffs: Tigers at Athletics, 9:37 p.m. (TBS)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ Brian Hoyer‘s rise to prominence was swift, but his moment in the spotlight ended even quicker.

The former Patriots backup who led the Browns to consecutive wins after being handed the starting job a couple of weeks ago, injured his knee in Cleveland’s 37-24 victory over the Bills on Thursday night, and there is speculation that he’s done for the season.

Hoyer, a fifth-year player who started the season as the team’s No. 3 QB but was inserted after starter Brandon Weeden suffered a thumb injury in Week 2, injured his right knee when being hit from the side while sliding on a scramble in the first quarter. He stayed in the locker room until the end of the game but then left the stadium on crutches with his knee immobilized and is scheduled to have an MRI on Friday.

“He was playing great, man,” Weeden said of Hoyer. “You hate to see it because he’s a teammate and a friend. I tried to be as positive with him as I could.”

Added receiver Josh Gordon: “We definitely don’t want to see a teammate go down like that, especially a guy like Hoyer. He’s a great guy and I hope he comes back healthy.”

Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel also hurt his knee in the game, on a hit at the end of a 14-yard run. After trying to get the knee loose on the sideline by riding the exercise bike, he jogged to the locker room. He is expected to have an MRI on Friday.

‘€¢ Former Yankees outfielder Chad Curtis was sentenced to 7-15 years in jail for sexually assaulting teenage girls when he was working as a substitute teacher and volunteer weight room coach at a high school in Michigan.

Curtis, who was accused of inappropriately touching three teens, was called a “predator” by Barry County Circuit Judge Amy McDowell, who added: “You certainly are a threat to any community you get into.”

The 44-year-old Curtis, who was found guilty of six counts of criminal sexual conduct on Aug. 16, continues to maintain his innocence, insisting that the girls lied.

Curtis won World Series titles with the Yankees in 1998 and ’99. He also played for the Angels, Tigers, Dodgers, Indians and Rangers as part of his 10-year major league career that ended in 2001.

‘€¢ Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was fined $10,000 by the NHL for his tirade at the end of Wednesday’s victory over the Ducks, when he started screaming at Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau before trying to push over the partition separating the benches.

Boudreau said Roy, a Hall of Fame goalie known for his fiery personality, was yelling at Ducks players and behaving in a “classless” manner before the coaches had their confrontation.

After Thursday’s practice, Roy responded as one would expect him to — by refusing to back down.

“What Boudreau said was all lies,” Roy insisted, despite video evidence of him swearing repeatedly at Anaheim forward Corey Perry. “I don’t talk to players, I respect all the players. I’m certainly not going to get too involved in this one, but when you talk about classless — when you’re lying, this is classless.”

Added Roy: “This is the league policy and I understand it now, but at the same time I will always defend my players. Things happen. This is the way I dealt with this one. Would I deal with it differently next time? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 4, 1967, the Red Sox opened the World Series with a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals. Who started on the mound for the Sox and homered off Bob Gibson for Boston’s only run?

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Read More: Brian Hoyer, Chad Curtis, EJ Manuel, Patrick Roy
Ex-Pats QB Brian Hoyer to start again for Browns 09.25.13 at 2:03 pm ET
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After leading the lowly Browns to their first win of the season on Sunday, former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer will start again at home against the Bengals on Sunday.

Hoyer defeated the Vikings, 31-27, in his second career NFL start to move Cleveland to 1-2. Hoyer passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions.

However, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski did not commit to Hoyer as the team’€™s starter for future weeks.

“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,” said Chudzinski.

Hoyer started in place of Brandon Weeden, who sat out with an injured thumb.

The six-year pro spent his first three seasons backing up Tom Brady in New England. He played in 13 total games, often coming in in blowouts. Hoyer signed with the Cardinals late last season and started in Arizona’€™s final game of the season, throwing for 225 yards and a touchdown along with an interception against the 49ers.

Hoyer reportedly heard from Brady after his first career start.

Read More: Brian Hoyer, Tom Brady,
Former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer to start for Browns 09.18.13 at 11:08 am ET
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Former Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer will receive his second career regular-season start this week when the Browns take on the Vikings in Minnesota.

The Browns (0-2) picked Hoyer, a Cleveland native, over fellow backup Jason Campbell after starter Brandon Weeden sprained his thumb in the Browns’€™ 16-14 loss to the Ravens.

Hoyer, 27, served as backup to Tom Brady between 2009 and 2011. He played in 13 games for the Pats, all in relief, and accumulated 273 passing yards on 27-of-43 passing with a touchdown and an interception.

Hoyer played two games last season with the Cardinals. He replaced starter Ryan Lindley in the second half of Arizona’€™s Week 16 loss to the Bears. Hoyer went 11-for-19 with 105 yards and an interception in the team’€™s 28-13 loss.

In the season finale the following week, he became the fourth Cardinals quarterback to start a game in 2012. Hoyer played well in his first career start, a 27-13 loss to the 49ers. He completed 19-of-34 passes for 225 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Sunday will be Hoyer’€™s first regular-season action of 2013. He started Week 4 of the preseason and threw for 307 yards and one touchdown, but he also had a pair of interceptions.

Read More: Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, Ryan Lindley
Former Patriots QB Brian Hoyer, ex-Jets WR Plaxico Burress work out for Steelers 11.20.12 at 1:35 pm ET
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The Steelers, desperate for help at quarterback and wide receiver following a series of injuries, worked out ex-Giants and Jets receiver Plaxico Burress and former Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer on Tuesday. Wide receiver Derrick Williams and quarterback Mike Kafka also attended the workout.

“We’re looking at these guys with the potential to sign at least one at each position,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “The men we will acquire will fortify our depth to win this football game” against the Browns on Sunday.

Byron Leftwich, who was filling in at quarterback for injured start Ben Roethlisberger, suffered two cracked ribs in Sunday night’s loss to the Ravens. Receiver Jerricho Cotchery sustained multiple rib fractures in the same game. And receiver Antonio Brown has missed the last two games with a high-ankle sprain and is not expected to play Sunday.

Roethlisberger, out with injuries to his shoulder and ribs, is not expected back soon, but Tomlin said he had additional tests Tuesday and, “We are encouraged with his status.”

Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Hoyer, Byron Leftwich, Plaxico Burress