The Patriots turned some heads on the draft when they selected North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett. It came as a shock to many not because the Patriots drafted a quarterback, but rather they took one from a spread instead of a Pro Style offense. Brissett comes from Florida and has close connections with Bill Belichick's former boss Bill Parcells. It was likely this connection that led to the Patriots making the selection.
Kevin Duffy from Masslive.com wrote an article detailing Brissett's journey through NC State. Initially committing to Florida, Brissett wound up losing the QB battle to Jeff Driskel in 2012. Brissett wound up transferring to NC State and had to sit a year before being eligible to play. The article continues on about how Brissett worked to gain favor in the team locker room. In a 2013 game against Florida State where NC State was getting pounded, Brissett stood up in front of the locker room and delivered an impassioned speech about playing with heart. Even though NC State had gotten blown out, they found the leader of their program for the next 2 seasons.
When Brissett did play for the Wolfpack, he developed a pregame routine: He'd bake brownies and cookies for his offensive linemen, delivering them on Fridays when the team arrived at the hotel. Accompanying each pastry was a handwritten note, personalized for each lineman, usually with an inside joke.
Brissett is a very athletic QB with a good arm and a solid feel for the game, but it's perhaps his actions off the field that stand out more. Every week Brissett would bake stuff for his teammates, particularly his offensive linemen. In addition, Brissett was very meticulous and methodical with his weekly preparation for games. Some days he would stay late at night to watch film. He prides himself into modeling his mental game after Peyton Manning, who was one of the best QBs when it came to the mental side of the position.
"He dedicates himself to every facet of his life," Hines explains. "You look at normal young men that are still developing and they're focused on other things other than academics, extra circulars that can pull people away from what matters. He was so driven to accomplish his goals... He was a guy who was invested in his teammates. He saw potential in everyone; he knew what everyone was capable of doing."
Brissett comes into a situation where he's unlikely to suit up for the team in any meaningful capacity after the preseason ends. Playing for the Patriots can be a very difficult challenge, especially considering how much the coaching staff expects their players to prepare for the games. There is a well-documented history of players who have burned out because of their inability to understand the way the Patriots run things. For Brissett, that doesn't look to be an issue because it's no different to how he handled himself at NC State. The real challenge is understanding that there are no guarantees in the NFL and there's no reason to believe he will be the one that succeeds Brady at the QB position in New England.
It's not a sure thing if Brissett gets a chance to be the guy for any NFL team, but one thing is for sure that part of being the QB is being a leader for the team. If there is one trait that stands out for him, it's his drive to be the best player he can be.