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Hoying to draw a crowd for his first NFL start

November 12, 1997

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ It promises to be a busy weekend for the Vern and Sue Hoying of St. Henry, Ohio.

On Friday night, they drive 1 1/2 hours to Bowling Green to watch their daughter Molly play volleyball for Cleveland State. From there, it’s on to Columbus on Saturday to watch son Tom, a tight end at Ohio State, play his last college game, followed by a big party.

Then on Sunday, Vern and seven friends and family members have chartered a jet for a trip to Baltimore, where son Bobby gets his first NFL start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Ravens.

``Hopefully we can bring back three wins and that would make everybody happy,″ Vern Hoying said.

Bobby Hoying, who searched for extra tickets among his teammates Wednesday, was glad for the support.

``He’s never missed a start of mine,″ he said.

Vern Hoying hasn’t had a reason to see Bobby play in the 1 1/2 years since the Eagles drafted him on the third round out of Ohio State. As a third-stringer, Hoying’s role has been confined to carrying the clipboard on the sidelines.

But Hoying got his first bit of sustained action in the closing minutes of the Eagles’ 24-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, and did well enough for coach Ray Rhodes to name him the starter.

Rhodes said earlier in the season that he wouldn’t go to Hoying, a backup behind Ty Detmer and Rodney Peete so far in his pro career, until the Eagles were out of contention.

But at 4-6, Philadelphia is still mathematically in the playoff picture, and Hoying said he’s not thinking about just gaining experience at the end of what has been a disappointing season.

``I’m not acting like this season’s over with,″ he said. ``I think we can go out and get some things done this year. I don’t think the playoffs are out of the realm of possibility.″

They will be if the banged-up Eagles offensive line doesn’t do a better job in front of Hoying than they did in front of Peete and Detmer.

Hoying does have some advantages over those two. He’s got a better arm, and he’s more mobile.

Of course, he’s also inexperienced. The game plan against any raw quarterback is the same: confuse him by disguising defenses and rattle him by blitzing early and often.

``They’re a pretty aggressive football team anyway,″ Rhodes said of the Ravens.

``The key thing with him (Hoying) is to try not to force things,″ he said. ``Don’t try to make up two or three bad plays on one play. Just take it as it comes and be patient. Don’t get too antsy to try to make big plays, just let them happen.″

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