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Teammates, coaches remember Ryan Mallett's rocket arm

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Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett died this week, drowning in Florida . Teammates and coaches have remembered him as a man with rare talent.

“I think of two things with Ryan," former Patriots and Texans teammate Brian Hoyer told Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. "First, he always had a big grin and was always very lively. He brought a lot of energy and was super interactive with all his teammates. Second, it was his arm strength. He has the strongest arm I’ve ever seen to this day .”

Hoyer shared with Reiss a story from 2011, Mallett's rookie season.

“I’ll never forget it, he was throwing a 16-yard, 18-yard in-cut and he threw the ball so hard that it hit off the receiver’s helmet and bounced straight up," Hoyer said. "It almost hit the top of the [practice] bubble, because it ricocheted so hard off the guy’s helmet."

Raiders coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also remembered Mallett's strong arm.

“He could throw a strawberry through a battleship," McDaniels told Reiss. "That’s how strong of an arm he had. . . . I remember a couple of times with the running backs, they’d be like four yards away, and he’d be looking downfield and then all of a sudden zip one to them and it would go right through their hands. It was one thing he was learning -- to throw the changeup sometimes. Because his fastball was his pitch, no doubt about it.”

“Ryan was a very talented player," Texans G.M. Nick Caserio, the director of player personnel in New England in 2011, told Reiss. "He was as good of a thrower of the football in the draft that year that had a number of good quarterbacks. Ryan was smart, understood football and was somebody we thought could develop in our system.”

Mallett was the seventh quarterback drafted in the lockout year of 2011, when free agency was delayed until after the work stoppage ended in late July. Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder were drafted in round one, and Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick were picked in round two.

“Ryan was well-liked by his teammates and they enjoyed being around him on a daily basis," Caserio said. "I remember he spoke to us at the combine about wanting to coach when he was done playing, and he was living out what he set out to do."

Ryan Mallett was 35. He had become in 2022 a high-school head coach.

We continue to extend our condolences to his family, friends, teammates, players, and colleagues.

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