FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — First-year New England Patriots coach Jerod Mayo might not be as hard-lined as Bill Belichick when answering questions from reporters, but he delivered a Belichick-type response when asked his first impressions of quarterback Drake Maye at rookie minicamp.

“He has a lot to work on. A lot to work on,” Mayo said Saturday, repeating himself. “But I have no doubt that he will put the time in. He was here all night trying to get on the same page as everyone else.”

Mayo has said that his legacy — as well as that of newly appointed executive vice president of player personnel Eliot Wolf, who officially was named to the position Saturday — will be tied to the team’s selection of Maye third overall in last month’s NFL draft.

Friday and Saturday marked Maye’s first practices as a Patriot, as he donned jersey No. 10, the same as former Patriots first-round pick Mac Jones.

Reporters were present for Saturday’s hourlong session, which featured a heavy emphasis on footwork fundamentals. Specifically, Maye spent the first few periods of practice taking snaps directly under center instead of the shotgun, which he mostly used the past two seasons at North Carolina.

“It’s been good, kind of the first day feeling it out and just getting more and more reps,” Maye said. “That’s all something new takes — getting more reps at it. I felt pretty good out there today, so just have to keep working.”

Maye split repetitions with fellow rookie Joe Milton, the sixth-round pick from Tennessee whose powerful arm was on display.

“Joe is my guy. I got to know him throughout college and saw him down at the [Peyton] Manning Camp. We’re just competing, two rookies in here trying to learn it,” Maye said. “I think we both have strong arms, so just out here trying to let it rip.”

Teammates took note on Maye’s presence and strong arm.

“The guy can sling it, man,” said wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk, the second-round pick from the University of Washington. “He’s very confident. He’s a leader, very vocal; he’s setting the tone in practice, trying to get guys moving around and operating at a high level.”

Fourth-round pick Layden Robinson, a guard from Texas A&M, added: “I love his energy and intensity when he’s in the huddle. So you’ve always got to bring your best energy, too.”

The Patriots have multiple assistant coaches with a focus on quarterbacks — Alex Van Pelt (offensive coordinator), T.C. McCartney (QBs), Ben McAdoo (senior assistant) and Evan Rothstein (assistant QBs) — with Mayo saying he expects Van Pelt to be the primary voice for Maye.

That was one of the primary appeals of Mayo hiring Van Pelt, who most recently served as quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns and last season was credited for his work with five different starters.

“There has to be balance there, you don’t want Drake hearing too many voices,” he said. “You have to have a small circle that you can talk to and trust. I know AVP is in that circle with Drake.”


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