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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Drake Maye is on the move. In the prior two OTA sessions open to the media, the New England Patriots first-round pick had been playing third fiddle behind both veterans Jacoby Brissett and Bailey Zappe in terms of how the quarterback reps were handed out. That has since changed. 

During Tuesday's practice, the final time we'll see Maye and the Patriots before mandatory minicamp begins next week, the first-year quarterback made the leap to QB2 regarding how the reps were divvied up throughout the session. Brissett, who signed with the team this offseason and is currently the projected Week 1 starter, continued to get the lion's share of reps, but it was Maye who was next up during drills with Zappe following him before giving way to fellow rookie Joe Milton III

"I think it's a battle," Maye said of moving to QB2 in reps. "Me, Jacoby, and Bailey, we're battling and mixing up who goes with who each day. It's not necessarily, 'Hey, you're going first and you're going second.' Jacoby is getting the first and from there, we're just playing by ear. Obviously, it matters how you do when you're in there." 

Overall, it was a mixed day for all the quarterbacks, including Maye, who threw two interceptions. One of the picks wasn't necessarily his fault, while the other seemed to either be an over-thrown ball to one receiver on the right side of the field close to the numbers or an under-thrown ball to another pass-catcher on the boundary further down that side. 

By my count, Maye finished 4-for-7 with two picks during 11-on-11s and then completed three of his four passes during 7-on-7s, which was predominantly focused on red zone work. 

"He's headed in the right direction," head coach Jerod Mayo said before Tuesday's practice regarding Maye's development. "A lot of times people think it's this longitudinal, just straight line up to the top, and realistically, it's up and down, up and down, up and down. But hopefully, you end up still – from left to right – going in the right direction."

As for offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, he noted following that session that Maye has been "impressive" but did give the caveat that these are just the initial steps in a long process. 

"I think of it as a marathon over a sprint," he said of developing a young quarterback like Maye. "You don't just go out and run a marathon. You've got to go out and train properly for a marathon. It's the same with a quarterback. There's a process and we follow that process, we trust that process. You can't just stick a guy out there and expect him to be successful without the proper training. It is a process and we're making moves in the right direction." 

Specifically with Maye, Van Pelt said the Patriots are "going to take our time and do it the right way." He was also asked specifically if there's a timetable that the team has in mind in terms of when he'd take that next step up the depth chart as the starter.

"I think you have to take that as it comes," Van Pelt said. "I think it will be a combination of a couple things. When those decisions are made they'll be made together as a group with Eliot [Wolf] and Coach Mayo. When that time comes, we'll see, but there is no timetable for when that time comes. Jacoby [Brissett], again, is our starter and he's played excellent football for us in the spring and Drake is coming on. Until that changes, we're going to stick with what we've got." 

Here are some other takeaways from Tuesday's session:

  • Dominating defense: It was a big day for the Patriots defense. As the club put most of its focus on red zone drills, the defense put the clamps down on the offense no matter who was under center. Knowing that this was a non-contact practice, fourth-year defensive tackle Christian Barmore particularly stood out. The 24-year-old, who signed a four-year extension with the team back in April, had what would've been a couple of sacks. During one 11-on-11 snap, Barmore burst through the line to disrupt the play in what would've been a tackle for a loss. In case it wasn't clear that the defense won the day, the entire offense was forced to do push ups after the final red zone drills. 
  • How the QBs fared: Brissett continued to get the QB1 treatment, but it was a tough day for the quarterbacks all around. By my count, he was 2-for-11 for the day during 11-on-11s and 5-for-9 during 7-on-7s. Zappe went 3-for-4 in 11s and 2-for-4 in 7s. Milton completed one of his four throws during 7-on-7s. 
  • Left tackle still a focus: The offensive line as a whole was a bit leaky on Tuesday, but the left tackle position is still going to be of central focus as New England ramps up its offseason workouts. Chukwuma Okorafor and rookie Caedan Wallace are the two names fighting for that spot. 
  • Eye on the sideline: During his availability with the media, Alex Van Pelt clarified that he will be on the sideline when calling plays for the Patriots offense in 2024 rather than working from up in the booth. 
  • DeMario Douglas pops: The wide receiver that caught my eye on Tuesday was Pop Douglas. He was the most involved pass-catcher during the red zone periods and came up with a number of key catches throughout the afternoon. After practice, Maye even compared Douglas to former UNC wideout and current Colt Josh Downs: "They do a lot of the same things. You can't guard him in a phone booth. They're twitchy, his speed. Those two things you can't work on." 
  • Javon Baker limited: Something to keep an eye on. I noticed that fourth-round rookie wideout Javon Baker was limited today at practice. While he was present and in uniform, he did not participate in the red zone drills or the competitive 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions. He was simply on the sideline as a spectator with his helmet in hand. Of course, given that there are no injury reports at this time of the year, it's unclear what exactly was holding him back from participating.