Jacoby Brissett on Patriots drafting him: I did not want to be there

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Ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, quarterback Jacoby Brissett didn’t need his identify to be referred to as by the Patriots.

“I honestly did not want to be there,” Brissett informed Devin and Jason McCourty Sunday night time on an episode of the twins’ “Double Coverage” podcast. “When I took my visit there — my pre-draft visit — I was like, ‘Hell no. If one team drafts me, it better not be them.’”

Sure sufficient, a lot to Brissett’s dismay, the Patriots chosen him out of NC State with the 91st total decide. Brissett was headed to New England to again up Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.

“I’ll never forget, Josh [McDaniels] called me on the phone on draft night, and I didn’t have his number saved,” Brissett recalled. “That’s how bad it was. I didn’t even have his number saved in my phone. I was like, ‘Damn, man.’”

Once he arrived in Foxborough, Brissett rapidly modified his tune. He credited Devin in addition to a number of former Patriots — defensive sort out Terrance Knight, defensive finish Anthony Johnson, and tight finish Martellus Bennett — for making a enjoyable, welcoming atmosphere.

“I’ve never been around so many older dudes that were so young, you know?” Brissett mentioned. “One of the main things that I learned was just how to be a pro. We would laugh in the locker room and decompress when we’re not doing football stuff, but when we were in football — everybody thinks it’s like the military — we were locked and loaded. There was no game where we felt like, ‘Damn, this team might beat us.’”

As a rookie, Brissett turned the primary Black quarterback to begin a sport for the Patriots.

With Brady suspended the primary 4 video games of the season on account of the Deflategate scandal, Garoppolo began in Weeks 1 and a pair of earlier than taking place with a shoulder harm. Brissett took over within the second quarter of Week 2 after which began in Weeks Three and 4.

In his three video games with the Patriots that yr, he accomplished 61.eight p.c of his passes and threw for 400 yards.

The subsequent season, Brissett noticed motion in three of New England’s 4 preseason video games. In the preseason finale towards the New York Giants, he accomplished 71.eight p.c of his passes and threw for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns.

“I balled out,” he mentioned. “I was like, ‘I know I’m making the team. It’s going to be hard for them to cut me.’ I really felt like I played my best game at that point, and I was playing my best football at that time throughout training camp and stuff.”

Little did Brissett know that he wouldn’t be on the roster for the season opener. The Patriots had traded him to the Indianapolis Colts in trade for vast receiver Phillip Dorsett.

“I think Bill [Belichick] did some shady [expletive],” Brissett mentioned, smiling. “I think they traded me right before practice and still made me go out there and practice.”

Brissett mentioned he remembers the vibes at Gillette Stadium feeling off the day the commerce occurred.

“I’m walking down the hall, and everybody’s just staring at me like I just committed a crime or something,” Brissett recalled. “And then I’m taking a look at my locker and Tom is simply sitting there together with his head in his telephone, and I’m like, ‘Damn, I hope that ain’t about me.’ It was loopy, man.

“My body was just frozen. I went and talked to Bill, and I didn’t even hear a word he said. In my head, I was like, ‘I don’t even know what traded means. Is that right now?’ And then as soon as I walked out of the room, they were like, ‘Yeah, we’ve got to get you on a flight tonight because you might have to play in the game Sunday.’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ I was like, ‘Hell no. I don’t even want to play yet. I don’t know where I’m going.’”

In the times following the commerce, Brissett obtained textual content messages from each Devin and veteran Matthew Slater that reassured him in regards to the state of affairs. Brissett turned the beginning quarterback for the Colts that season, throwing for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 video games.

“[Slater] was like, ‘Man, listen. You’re about to walk into some crazy times, but you’re built for this, and it’s part of the NFL,’” Brissett mentioned. “Honestly, that was my wake-up to the NFL, was being traded and then the next week, you’re out there in a game. It was like, ‘We don’t care how long you’ve been here. You’d better know how to play.’”

Brissett and Brady now play for various groups, however the pair apparently nonetheless communicate. Brissett expressed appreciation that Brady nonetheless invited him to hang around on the Kentucky Derby — even after he was traded.

“We just became friends,” Brissett mentioned. “You can text Tom and Tom responds like he’s your girlfriend.”