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Brissett embracing mentor role in 2nd stint with Patriots

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Jacoby Brissett had no expectations the first time he walked into the New England Patriots’ training facility in 2016 as a wide-eyed, 23-year-old rookie quarterback.

A third-round pick, he was joining a team that had a four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Tom Brady at the time and an entrenched backup in Jimmy Garoppolo.

Brissett didn’t know if he’d even make the roster.

“Third-string quarterback my rookie year. Took no reps at training camp or (organized team activities) with the first team. And Week 2 I’m in the game versus the Dolphins,” Brissett recalled on Thursday. “You never know when your opportunity is going to come. You’ve just got to ready.”

Brissett couldn’t have predicted that Brady would begin that 2016 season by serving a four-game suspension as part of his “Deflategate” punishment, or that Garoppolo would be injured in the second game of the season against Miami, thrusting him into the starting job for two games. But Brissett’s point is clear.

A chance to impact a team can come at any time.

And that’s exactly how the now-31-year-old is approaching his latest stop in New England.

With the one-year, $8 million free-agent deal he signed with the Patriots in March, Brissett joins a quarterback room in which he’s largely viewed as a transition player while first-round pick and former North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye develops.

Lucky for the Patriots, Maye and Brissett already have some familiarity with one another.

Brissett and Maye share a mutual friend in Seattle Seahawks quarterback Sam Howell. Maye and Howell both played at North Carolina, and Howell and Brissett were teammates on the Commanders last season. All three spent time together last summer.

Since finding out they’d both be joining the Patriots, Maye and Brissett have gotten to know each other better.

“He’s already texting me about plays and how do I think about this and cadence and stuff like that,” Brissett said. “He’s got a lot of talent. He can make all the throws."

After being traded to Indianapolis by the Patriots in 2017, Brissett spent four years with the Colts and had one-year stops in Miami, Cleveland and Washington.

He’s appeared in 79 games with 48 starts along the way, growing into a respected veteran in the league.

It comes with lessons that he feels will be helpful to a young quarterback such as Maye.

"He wants to learn football. He wants to get better,” Brissett said. “That’s what you want. Not only in your quarterback but anybody on the team. I’m excited to work with him.”

Brissett is equally excited about rekindling his relationship with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, who served the same role in Cleveland when Brissett was there in 2022 and started for the Browns while Deshaun Watson served his 11-game NFL suspension.

“I’m just going to be myself. I have no ego in this,” Brissett said. “I’m 31 now. I’ve matured as a man, as a football player and learned from those experiences that I’ve had throughout my career. I’ve been fortunate to play along or play beside a lot of really good quarterbacks and a lot of good coaches. The things that I’ve learned hopefully will continue to propel my career.”



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