Tom E. Curran

Hoyer explains how Brady remains a resource even now for Patriots

Drake Maye could learn a thing or two from how Brian Hoyer used to study Tom Brady.

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Do all roads have to lead back to Tom Brady? If you’re playing quarterback for the Patriots, the answer is yes. And that’s a good thing.

Because even though Drake Maye’s day-to-day quarterbacking role model is going to be Jacoby Brissett, Brady’s way of operating will inevitably filter down. Because when Brissett was starting out, it was Brady he learned from.

Brian Hoyer came into the league behind Brady and was a starter or backup for eight different teams. He stuck around the NFL for 15 seasons as an undrafted player.  

This week on NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Talk Podcast, Hoyer talked about what an incredible resource Brady was just being around him.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Brian Hoyer reveals the Tom Brady lessons Drake Maye should learn Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

“One thing I was always in amazement of Tom was how he operated, his sense of urgency in the huddle -- call the play, get out of the huddle, pushing guys forward,” said Hoyer. “I know Jacoby learned that his rookie year and has implemented that along the way.

"Those are the intricate things that you learn that a quarterback coach isn't going to teach you, an offensive coordinator isn't going to teach you. Their job is to sit down, tell you the reads, tell you the coverages, work on footwork, all of those things. But what you look for in a veteran guy is to teach you how to do it the right way.”

Brady, Hoyer said, was a walking instructional video in how to do the job.

"One of the things when I saw Mac (Jones) come through and him being young but not experiencing what I experienced watching Tom Brady, I think one of the things that (the Patriots) missed out on is they should have had Tom mic'd up and following him at practice every single day. And when a young guy came in, you watched that, because his intensity -- he treated every day like the Super Bowl. And that was true.

“We all had to, because if not, we were going to end up on the lowlights the next day with Bill (Belichick) calling us out. So there was that sense of urgency. Like, every day is like a game. Every day is an important day. There are no days that don't matter. It's not just a random Wednesday in May. That day is the most important day. And I got to witness it, and a lot of other guys got to witness it.”

Hoyer took Mac Jones under his wing in 2021 and 2022 before being released prior to last season and signing with the Raiders. Hoyer said he tried to model the practice-to-practice intensity for Jones during Jones’ rookie year.

“I tried to recreate that for Mac,” he explained. “I wasn't getting a ton of reps. But when I would go in there, I would try – not just for him; it was just the way I knew how to do it – but it was like, you see how to operate at such a high level before the ball is even snapped. And that's something that, having been around Jacoby, playing on a team with him (in Cleveland), I know that that's something that he carries."

In Hoyer’s view, Maye’s responsibility is to observe Brissett. And Brissett’s responsibility is to ready the Patriots offense.

“You probably knew you were going to draft a quarterback third overall, but the reason you signed Jacoby is because he's going to be your starter,” Hoyer said. “And his mindset is, 'I'm the starter, I'm going to prepare to be the starter. That's my main job.' But knowing Jacoby and his personality, (the job is) also to kind of show these young guys how to be pro quarterbacks.

“And that doesn't mean throwing and footwork. That means coming in the building every day, working hard, showing them how to watch film. (Maye has to watch) ‘How is he breaking down the film? How is he studying the playbook?'

“People assume that Jacoby should be in there just telling these guys like, ‘Hey, do this, do that.’ No. Those guys have to come in and have the awareness to say, I'm just going to watch a veteran guy who's played a long time and started a lot of games. I'm going to watch him every day and see how he interacts, see how he leads a meeting, see how he's talking to the receivers out on the field.

“There's so many little things that you can learn from a guy like Jacoby who has been a starter on multiple teams. Every team that he's ever left, he's always been looked at as one of the best teammates.”

There’s also a nuance to asking for tutoring, Hoyer said.

“I remember seeing Tom do something and being like, ‘Man, I don't know. I'm not understanding how he's seeing that or how he is recognizing that.’ And that's when you interject and ask questions," Hoyer explained.

“It's not Jacoby's job. That's why you have (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt and T.C. (McCartney), the quarterback coach. Those guys are there to instruct these guys on, 'Here's the play, here's the read, here's what we're doing,' you know? Jacoby’s job is to lead by example because ultimately, you know, Day 1, Game 1, it's probably going to be him out there, so he has a job of having to prepare to play.”

In short, be inquisitive. But don’t be inquisitive just to be inquisitive.

“I have a story, and I won't mention the guy's name, but when I was here in my younger years and we had another quarterback in the room, he'd come in every day and he'd be asking questions to Tom. And they were questions that were pretty simple, that he kind of already knew the answer to.

“At a certain point, Tom goes, ‘You've got three questions a day. Use them wisely.’ So the next day he comes in, he goes, ‘What's up?’ Tommy goes, ‘That's number one.'

"If you're actually asking questions to learn, ask, ask away, ask all the time. But if you're asking a question that you already know the answer to, but you're kind of trying to just confirm, that's college and high school stuff, I think.”

Subscribe to the Patriots Talk Podcast to check out the full episode, or watch on YouTube below.

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