Hoyer feels Brissett is ‘perfect’ choice to mentor Maye


“He’s very endearing to his teammates; they love him.”

Jacoby Brissett and Drake Maye will likely battle for the Patriots’ starting quarterback gig in training camp. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The push for Drake Maye to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback when the 2024 season opens has seemed to pick up among those outside the team in recent weeks.

But as fans might be clamoring for the Patriots to start the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, there are still people who are pushing back to that idea. Former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer is among them. During an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live” this past week, Hoyer made the case for Jacoby Brissett to be the team’s starting quarterback as he took first-team reps during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

“Jacoby is like a little brother to me. We were teammates. We’re friends,” Hoyer said. “The Patriots signed Jacoby to be the starter right away, knowing they were drafting a quarterback with that pick, because he’s capable and played a lot of football. He’s very endearing to his teammates; they love him. He’s the perfect guy to mentor Drake Maye.”

Brissett has seemed to be popular with his Patriots teammates early on in his second stint in New England. In fact, center David Andrews credited Brissett for helping the team learn new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt’s playbook and system back in May.

That kind of leadership is part of the reason why fellow ESPN analyst Ryan Clark also believes that Brissett should be the Patriots’ starting quarterback to open 2024.

“I believe that Jerod Mayo will be smart. I believe he understands in the players in that locker room and what it means if you get on the field a little too early, and your confidence gets a little shaken if things don’t start off the right way,” Clark added on “NFL Live.” “They have the perfect bridge quarterback. You heard some of the characteristics that Brian described Jacoby Brissett with, someone who can start, someone who can win football games. But he also shows the humility to be a part of a quarterback room. Chemistry is so big for a young rookie.

“When you have somebody like Jacoby Brissett, who has that sort of understanding, you also have a head coach who was a part of winning locker rooms, they understand how to mentor and bring a young quarterback along.”

Brissett has served as a stop-gap quarterback on multiple occasions. He started nearly the entire 2017 season for the Colts as Andrew Luck dealt with injuries and again in 2019, when Luck suddenly announced his retirement. He started 11 games in 2022 for the Browns as Deshaun Watson served a suspension.

This won’t be Brissett’s first time working in tandem with a young quarterback selected in the top five of the draft, either. The Dolphins added him in 2021, pairing him with Tua Tagovailoa as he entered Year 2. He started five games that year for Miami.

As Brissett has bounced around and been thrown in unideal situations for a quarterback, Mike Tannenbaum believes that sort of experience will pay dividends for the Patriots.

“I’m hard-pressed to understand why [Brissett] doesn’t start on Opening Day? He’s somebody who’s played in 78 games in his career and started in 48,” Tannenbaum said. “What’s the rush with Drake Maye and all these rookie quarterbacks? I love Drake Maye, I think he’s going to be great. But it’s about the next 10 years, not the next 10 weeks.

“To me, Jacoby is perfect. You’ve got a rookie head coach, let Jerod Mayo find his way.”

It appears that the Patriots are trending toward the direction of starting Brissett to open up the year. NFL Media’s Bridget Condon recently reported that the Patriots feel there hasn’t been anything Maye’s shown yet that suggests he “absolutely” has to start right away.

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