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The New England Patriots seemingly have a plan to bring rookie quarterback Drake Maye along slowly. The team signed Jacoby Brissett in free agency before it selected Maye with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, and with a below-average offensive infrastructure, it makes sense for them to let Maye sit and learn behind the veteran while also saving his body and sparing him some of the scar tissue that comes from playing in with a hollowed-out supporting cast.

But that doesn't mean tracking his development both through the offseason and into Year 1 isn't important. And apparently, the early returns are promising. At least, that's what offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt thinks.

"He's been impressive," Van Pelt said of Maye, via ESPN. "He's come out, he's taken everything from the classroom, everything from our individual periods, and he's applied them to the team drills. He's been impressive so far. 

"The biggest things we're working on with him right now, obviously, calling plays from the huddle -- which is new to a lot of these college guys. And then just playing in rhythm and in time with your feet. [Those are] the biggest strides, I'd say, he's made in the last few weeks."

Maye could use the time to develop, and the Patriots can afford to give it to him. They are not in a position to compete for a playoff spot in 2024, and their personnel on the offensive side of the ball is not set up for Maye to have early success. 

They have begun adding pieces like Ja'Lynn Polk, Caedan Wallace and Javon Baker, but there is still a long way to go before the environment is a strong one in which to nurture a franchise passer's development. In the meantime, they have a solid veteran in Brissett who can steer the offense to competence, as he has in several previous stops. When Maye is ready, and when the team is ready for him, then he'll step in and take things over.