Jacoby Brissett spent only one season with the Patriots after being selected by New England in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Yet it’s still an experience from which the 27-year-old can draw as he prepares for his fourth season with the Indianapolis Colts.
After all, few quarterbacks have had the luxury of working closely with Tom Brady, the most accomplished QB in NFL history, and Bill Belichick, the most accomplished coach the league ever has seen.
“Mentor, brother, friend,” Brissett told NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran on Monday of his relationship with Brady. “Tom encompasses so much because he’s the type of guy where he’s gonna cover all the bases. He’s gonna be the big brother at times, he’s gonna be the friend, he’s gonna be the mentor, he’s gonna be the coach, he’s gonna do all of these things just because of his personality.
“He was hard on us, no question. It was the standard people had for us because we played behind Tom but it was more so you didn’t care about that standard, you cared about what Tom thought about you.”
Brissett started two games for the Patriots in 2016 while Brady served a four-game suspension related to Deflategate and fellow backup Jimmy Garoppolo recovered from a shoulder injury. He flashed some potential during that brief stint, but New England ultimately traded Brissett to Indianapolis for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett just before the start of the 2017 season. The Patriots then traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers less than two months later.
Brissett’s time in Foxboro will register as nothing more than a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of the Patriots’ dynasty. Same goes for Garoppolo’s two-plus seasons with New England, although his departure is far more polarizing, especially with San Francisco playing in Super Bowl LIV.
But there’s reason to believe Brissett and Garoppolo both benefited greatly from working alongside TB12 and that the wisdom acquired ultimately will outweigh the heightened expectations they’ve each dealt with in wake of playing for the Patriots. It’s just important to keep things in perspective and understand that comparing anyone to Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion, is an absurd exercise at this point.
“Everybody sees the finished product Tom (Brady) but Tom wasn’t what he is in 2018 or 2019 back in 2002,” Brissett told Curran. “That’s what makes it fun for me and for Jimmy too. People have these expectations for you and once you don’t reach them, it’s like, ‘Awww, you suck.’
“But at the end of the day, one of the best things I learned from Tom was him saying during our struggles that, ‘I didn’t get where I am just like that (snaps fingers). I struggled. I had my ups and downs.'”
Brissett’s career eventually might contain far more ups than downs thanks in large to what he learned in New England.
Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images