‘Competing to win’: Newest Patriot Drake Maye eager to bring winning tradition back to New England

For almost 20 years, Tom Brady entered Gillette Stadium on Sundays with a thunderous, bloodthirsty “LET’S GOOOOO.” The latest QB following in the GOAT’s footsteps had a similar utterance as he sat down for his first duties as a New England Patriot Thursday night. But a more subdued, joyous version.

“Let’s go baby! What’s up guys!” exclaimed a beaming Drake Maye as he sat down for a virtual media meeting, his new Patriots Draft hat still perched on his head. “I’m super pumped. You know, I can’t wait to get to New England. I’m looking so much so forward to it. It’s one of the best nights of my life, and, can’t wait to get up there and get started and get to work. ”

Maye, an athletic, strong-armed gunslinger, garnered a reputation as an energetic, scrappy leader during his three seasons at the University of Carolina, winning ACC Player of the Year Honors in 2022. The newest Patriots’ euphoric energy was on full display as Maye told fans to expect a “competitor and a winner.”

“Doesn’t matter if I’m racing you out the door or on the football field competing. I’m competing to win and that’s what Patriots Nation is about. That’s what they know how to do. And I’m ready to come in and do that,” Maye described.

While Maye and Brady may have similar Patriot entrances in common, the former Tar Heel made it clear he’s going to trek his own career path in Foxboro.

“Tom Brady’s the GOAT. He’s the best that’s ever played this game. I’m not going to be Tom Brady. So I’m just gonna try to be Drake Maye. And from there, I’m just trying to learn from him. Hopefully, get to know him a little bit. And other than that, just try to, you know, soak it up and, be a sponge and try to learn all I can from him. He’s the man in that town,” Maye described.

Maye is the second new addition to the Patriots QB room this offseason. The Patriots signed veteran QB Jacoby Brissett to a one-year, $8 million deal as part of first-year head coach Jerod Mayo’s plans to reinvigorate New England’s offense. The 21-year-old signal-caller told reporters he already met Brissett through Sam Howell, a fellow UNC alumnus and Brissett’s teammate in Washington.

He’s been so many different places, so many different offenses. I think he’s been in this offense before,” Maye said of his fellow QB. “You know, he’s an old guy, old vet. So I know he’s looking forward and he can still play. So I’m looking forward to helping contribute in any way. And I look forward to him getting to see him.”

Maye may beat out Brissett for the starting job during training camp, but the 21-year-old knows it would be of his own volition, not by the benefit of the pedigree of a top pick.

I think my first thing is to help in any way I can contribute. Prepare and be ready to be the starter but at the same time, you know as a young guy coming in there, it’s not given to you. Got to earn it. The NFL is someplace you gotta work. You work your butt off. And my job is to go in there and earn the guys’ respect. You know, help whoever is the starter, If I’m not. Be the best player I can and help the team win.” Maye said.

The Patriots entered the 2024 season with the second-most salary cap space in the NFL but didn’t break the bank on offense, instead using most of their funds to re-sign key players for long-term extensions. After two years near the bottom of the NFL’s offensive rankings, some pundits have prepared for a trifecta of offensive woe in Foxboro.

But Maye said he would no hesitation stepping in and feeling comfortable commanding the offense.

“I think they’re wrong. I think, you know, I heard that defense last year held a lot of teams to low points. And I’m looking forward to helping any way offensively and the beginning of Coach Mayo’s career.”

Maye’s selection brought a multimonth odyssey to an end. The next stepping stone in the young QB’s career is Rookie minicamp beginning on May 10. Expect the Huntersville, North Carolina native to be there with energy to spare.

“The biggest challenge is to be myself. You know, don’t change for the NFL, don’t change for anybody that’s that’s hating or downplaying me. Just be myself. I’m not going to change. You’re getting Drake Maye, I am who I am. You’re going to see it day in, day out,” Maye described. “I may not have as much energy sitting in one of those interview rooms as now, but, you know, one of the best days of my life. Can’t thank Pats Nation enough and, the front office and coach for trusting me. And I promise you won’t regret it.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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