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Hannable: It’s time to change how we view Jacoby Brissett

Ryan Hannable
June 14, 2017 - 9:01 am

FOXBORO — Jacoby Brissett isn’t in the easiest of spots. 

The second-year quarterback is in the same room as Tom Brady, the best quarterback to ever play the game, and Jimmy Garoppolo, who likely would be a starter on any other team. Brissett often gets overlooked when people are discussing the Patriots’ quarterbacks because since he is entering his second year he's just not at the same level as the other two.

One day that could change. 

Keep in mind Brissett is just in his second year, really still learning the Patriots’ system. In watching him this spring, it is quite apparent he’s miles ahead of where he was at this time last year. 

With Garoppolo not participating in Tuesday's OTA, it meant more reps for Brissett. Overall, it was an up-and-down session, as he threw some nice deep balls, much improved from last season, but also had a few passes where he threw the ball too hard for such a short distance. It was an inconsistent day, but that’s expected from a second-year player.

Last year at this time the NC State product was throwing every other pass at the feet of the offensive line, or out of the back of the end zone. Now, he’s showing much more command in the huddle and at the line, as well has having a good idea of when exactly the ball needs to come out on certain routes.

“You get more of an understanding of the offense when you have a year under your belt,” Brissett said after Tuesday’s OTA session. “Taking that into this spring has helped me out a lot. Just continuing to go out there and get better learning from the other guys.”

Comparing Brissett right now to Brady or Garoppolo is just unfair.

“I’m still learning,” Brissett said. “It’s hard to catch up to 18 years and it’s hard to catch up to four years, but you have to put the time, effort and work to get as close as possible.”

Despite not having as much experience as the two other quarterbacks, Brissett doesn’t back down in the quarterbacks’ room.

“We’re definitely competing against each other,” he said. “I definitely think we have a good room. Guys like to compete, all five of us in there, and it’s a fun room to be in.”

As it relates to the Patriots' long-term quarterback situation, there’s one plausible scenario not being talked about. 

What if the Patriots trade/allow Garoppolo to walk as a free agent and go with Brady and Brissett until Brady calls it quits?

Of course the Patriots couldn’t afford to let Garoppolo go until they feel Brissett is capable of leading the offense, which likely isn’t the case right now, but who is to say at some point this season, next offseason, or in 2018 that can’t happen? Once it does, Garoppolo is expendable.

“I don’t control what people say about me, nor do I care,” Brissett said. “Just go out there, do what I am supposed to do and everything will take care of itself.”

As a rookie, it was clear his teammates believed in him, as they rallied around him in the two games he started following Garoppolo’s injury. (Brissett led the Patriots to a 27-0 win over the Texans in Week 3 on a Thursday night before falling to the Bills 16-0 in Week 4.) Also, Brissett showed how tough he was by playing through a thumb injury in Week 4 which needed surgery and a trip to injured reserve the week after.

In just over a year with the organization, Brissett is well beyond what Ryan Mallett was able to do in his three years with the team, and arguably right on pace to where Garoppolo was after his first season in New England. Mallett is the type of player Brissett should be being compared to right now, not well-established players like Brady and Garoppolo.

Brissett is often forgot about just because he isn’t on the same level as the other two quarterbacks on the roster, but in a short time that could change. 

Keep in mind, two years ago at this time he was still in college. He still has plenty of room to grow and isn’t a finished product. Therefore, it’s time to stop writing him off and start giving him some of the attention he deserves, all while staying patient and realizing he is just in his second year. 

One day he could be the starting quarterback of the team.

“My job is to just to go out there and play the best that I can, go out there and work hard,” he said. “Take what we’re doing in the classroom and apply it on the field to the best of my ability. Whatever happens, happens.”

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