Patriots Coach Jerod Mayo Gives Frank Assessment of Drake Maye at Rookie Minicamp

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The more things change for the New England Patriots, the more they stay the same.

For decades, Patriots fans learned to live with coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady's unorthodox relationship dynamic—a dynamic predicated on Belichick's extreme reluctance to dole out public praise to any player, much less his star.

Saturday, then, must have carried a sense of déjà vu for New England backers as new Patriots coach Jerod Mayo was bitingly honest about rookie quarterback Drake Maye's shortcomings.

"He has a lot to work on. A lot to work on," Mayo said at New England's rookie minicamp. "But I have no doubt that he will put the time in. He was here all night trying to get on the same page as everyone else."

The Patriots took Maye third overall in last month's NFL draft after a three-year career at North Carolina that included a 10th-place finish in the 2022 Heisman voting.

What endorsement the Huntersville, N.C. native has not received from his coach at the moment he appears to have received from teammates, however.

"The guy can sling it, man," wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk said. "He's very confident. He's a leader, very vocal... trying to get guys moving around and operating at a high level."

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.