Rookie camp sheds light on Patriots’ efforts to develop Drake Maye

    New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo raised eyebrows over the weekend when he said that rookie quarterback Drake Maye “has a lot to work on” throughout springtime and summer practices, per Mike Reiss of ESPN

    Karen Guregian of MassLive later mentioned exactly what Maye worked on during rookie minicamp. 

    “Maye’s biggest bugaboo – footwork – was one area of focus,” Guregian explained. “Judging by his college film, the Patriots changed the dynamics of where he placed his feet in the shotgun. At [North Carolina], his right foot was a touch ahead of his left when receiving the snap from the shotgun formation. Now, his left foot is the lead.” 

    Maye’s footwork was a hot topic of discussion among analysts and reporters before the Patriots made him the third pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Perceived weaknesses in his game have caused some to say that New England should start veteran Jacoby Brissett so that Maye can develop as a backup, but Mayo has repeatedly suggested that he’ll have the two compete for the job this summer. 

    “Maye also took a considerable amount of snaps under center, something that didn’t happen much, if at all, in college,” Guregian added. “From there, he worked on his footwork while dropping back.” 

    Reiss wrote in late April that “a high-ranking executive from an NFL team” said the Patriots must “clarify the roles of coaches” regarding Maye’s development. Specifically, New England has offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney, senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo and former assistant quarterbacks coach Evan Rothstein working with the first-year pro. 

    According to Tim Crowley of NESN, Mayo somewhat addressed that topic this past weekend. 

    “We do have a group of coaches that have quarterback backgrounds, but I would say overall it would be AVP (Van Pelt) as far as that lead guy,” Mayo remarked. “There has to be balance there. You don’t want Drake hearing too many voices. Once again, that’s why I’m saying that AVP will be the lead guy as far as that communication with Drake.” 

    As of Monday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook listed Maye eighth among the betting favorites at +1800 odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award for the upcoming season. That may make him an intriguing option for those who believe he’ll be a Week 1 starter and prove doubters wrong beginning in September. 

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