Phil Perry

Drake Maye already texting Jacoby Brissett for help with Pats offense

"He wants to learn football. He wants to get better."


FOXBORO -- In the end, the path was relatively straightforward.

Earmark a high-end first-round pick for a young quarterback. Sign a veteran passer to make sure the team doesn't have to thrust said young quarterback into the starting lineup before he's ready. Let them compete. See what happens.

It just so happened that when the new league year began in March, when free agency opened, there was an ideal veteran quarterback to fill that need.

Jacoby Brissett had been with the Patriots before, serving as the third-string quarterback in 2016 behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. He played in Alex Van Pelt's offense as a member of the Browns in 2022. He'd been a backup. He was widely regarded in league circles as one of the best veteran teammates a player could have. And he was available.

The Patriots promptly signed him to a one-year deal worth $8 million, and he now understands that part of his gig will be to help guide New England's No. 3 overall pick from last month's draft, quarterback Drake Maye.

“He's got a lot of talent," Brissett told reporters Thursday. "He can make all the throws. He wants to learn football. He wants to get better. That’s what you want, in not only your quarterback, but anybody on the team.

"I’m excited to work with him. I remember -- he's 21, I was 22, 23 -- but I remember that I was following Tom [Brady] around... [Maye] is already texting me about plays. ‘How do I think about this?’ Cadence. Stuff like that. All the little nuances of being in this position at this level.”

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Patriots coach Jerod Mayo said soon after the draft that Brissett understood what his job entailed. Helping a first-year player would likely be part of his responsibilities.

"Look, Jacoby understands, he's a mentor," Mayo explained. "He's very smart, has great leadership skills, and hopefully Drake can learn something from him as well. I would say we're going to compete all spring, we're going to compete during training camp, and the best player will start."

Brissett acknowledged that he's looking forward to competing alongside Maye as well as Bailey Zappe and Joe Milton III -- "I think the good thing about our room is, honestly, everybody wants to be the guy," Brissett said -- but he also wants to make sure he's helping foster an environment in which there is no animosity between competitors.

"When I was here the first time, you realize everybody's your mentor that's older than you in this league or has more experience, and I hope I'm that for more than just Drake," Brissett said. "I'm a teammate first. I can be a good teammate to not only him but to everybody on this team...

"I have no ego in this to be like, ‘I should do this.’ Whatever is for me is going to happen for me. Whatever is going to happen for the next person is going to happen for the next person. It’s about being ready whenever your time comes. 

"The thing that got me to that mindset was my first year here. I’m the third-string quarterback my rookie year. Take no reps in training camp or OTAs with the first team. And in Week 2, I’m in a game against the Dolphins. You never know when your opportunity is going to come.

"It’s just about being ready. Whatever is going to happen for me is going to happen for me.”

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