Boston Sports Tonight

Curran: It's not Jacoby Brissett's job to mentor Drake Maye

"They need to compete. And I think that's what Drake Maye needs to understand."

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Jacoby Brissett is saying all the right things.

The New England Patriots' veteran quarterback, signed for $8 million in free agency, says he's "excited" to work with rookie Drake Maye and that the team's first-round draft pick is already texting him about plays. With eight seasons of NFL experience playing with five different teams and dozens of different QBs (including Tom Brady), Brissett seems like the perfect mentor to aid Maye's professional development.

But Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran wants us to pump the brakes on Brissett simply being there to coach up the QB heir apparent.

"Ninety-seven percent of Jacoby Brissett's responsibilities this year are devoted to winning football games and getting his stuff straight," Curran said Thursday night on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight, as seen in the video above. "That's what he owes the Patriots. That's what he's being paid $8 million to do.

"If, by osmosis, Drake Maye learns, and if, on occasion, Jacoby Brissett says, 'You wanna look for this,' then that's great. But it is not (Brissett's) job to tutor, mentor, or in other ways treat him like an apprentice. They need to compete. And I think that's what Drake Maye needs to understand. That's the starter."

Brissett is the logical choice to start Week 1 instead of Maye, who has plenty of raw talent but may need some polishing. Considering the Patriots have a relatively inexperienced offensive line and underwhelming wide receiver group, it makes more sense to let a veteran QB like Brissett take the reins instead of putting Maye in a challenging spot right out of the gate.

So to Curran's point, Brissett needs to carry himself like a starter instead of a Maye tutor. Even in a hypothetical situation where New England literally was paying Brissett extra to coach up Brissett -- "What if Brissett got $8 million and $2 million of those eight were, 'Hey, we want you to be (Maye's) mentor,'" co-host Michael Holley suggested -- Curran still believes Brissett's No. 1 focus should be on winning football games.

"If I was Jacoby Brissett and I was presented with that," Curran replied, "I'd say, 'Terrific. You know how I'm gonna mentor? I'm gonna lead by example and he can watch.

"Because I am not showing up at Drake Maye's condo and talking to him about this and that or counseling him when he's not starting and talking to him about how to winnow down his inner circle. I'm playing football this year for the football team. I owe it to you, the Krafts (team owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft), and the other guys in the locker room.'

"I really do believe that that is what the Patriots would want from him, and I believe that's what Drake Maye would want from him."

There's a good chance Brissett understands this dynamic having played with Brady as a rookie. Brady was maniacally competitive and wasn't the type of person to put his arm around a fellow QB and offer him words of wisdom. That said, Brissett and fellow backup Jimmy Garoppolo likely learned plenty from the legendary quarterback just watching him go about his business in New England.

Brissett and Maye certainly can have a close relationship in Foxboro, and Maye certainly can pick up valuable insights from the 31-year-old QB. But they're also competing for the same starting job with the goal of helping their team, which ultimately should be the top priority.

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