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In professing faith in Brian Hoyer, Matthew Slater reveals backup quarterback's real first name

Matthew Slater has a lot of faith in "Axel" Brian Hoyer
Matthew Slater has a lot of faith in "Axel" Brian Hoyer 01:13

BOSTON -- Brian Hoyer has been around for a while. He's in his 14th NFL season -- and eighth in New England -- so we've all become pretty familiar with the veteran quarterback.

We may get to know him a lot better in the coming weeks, with starting quarterback Mac Jones reportedly set to miss a good chunk of time with a high ankle sprain. But there's a little known fact about Hoyer that Patriots captain Matthew Slater brought to light on Monday. 

Asked about his confidence in Hoyer leading the way, Slater professed his full faith in "Axel."

Axel? Who the heck is Axel? There's an Axel on the Patriots?!?!

That "Axel" would be Hoyer, whose legal name is Axel Edward Brian Hoyer.

"I do believe that we'll respond the right way," Slater said of potentially playing with a fill-in quarterback. "Needless to say, you lose a player at that position of that caliber, it is challenging. But we have confidence in all the quarterbacks on our roster. Coach has him on the roster for a reason.

"I've known Axel for 14 years now, been a teammate of his on and off over that period of time. We have a lot of confidence in him," added Slater.

Slater, an admitted fan of first names, believes that a few other guys on the roster call Hoyer by his birth name. Which begs the question: Why doesn't Hoyer go by Axel? It's a pretty sweet name and "Axel Hoyer" sounds a lot cooler than "Brian." (No offense to all the Brians out there.)

As for Slater, he has plenty of lesser-known first names to use in the Patriots locker room. Mac Jones' first name is Michael, with the Mac coming from his middle name: McCorkle. Slater, however, has been referring to him as Mac. 

That's just one of the first names that fans may not be privy to on the New England roster, as pointed out by NESN's Zack Cox.  

Which leads us to our final question with Slater's name game: If he's really upset with a teammate, does he go with their first and middle names to get his point across? That's always the go-to for angry parents, so imagine how effective it would be coming from a guy like Slater.

Tune in to Sunday's Patriots-Packers game on WBZ-TV -- your home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Wednesday night with Patriots 1st Down at 9:30 p.m. on TV38, and continues Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access on WBZ-TV. Pregame coverage kicks off at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning with Patriots GameDay, the Pats and the Packers kick off at 4:25 p.m., and we wrap it all up with Patriots 5th Quarter after the game over on TV38.

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