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Drew Bledsoe Offers Hope That Drake Maye's Future is in the Best of Hands

This weekend featured Patriots rookie camp, essentially the first day of kindergarten where the teachers are still trying to learn names, explain the bathroom policy, and that's about it. They won't even start to sort out the normal kids from the total basket cases who eat crayons until Day 2 at the earliest. 

And so, we continue to boldly go where no fan has gone before. At least not with this franchise. As far back as I can remember, Pats fans have never been in this situation. With a rookie as the Most Important Player. Surrounded by fellow rookies and free agents. Playing for a head coach who's never even been a coordinator before. And an offensive coordinator who hasn't coordinated an offense since that one season in 2009. When, coincidentally to this blog, the quarterback actually was in kindergarten. 

So as we venture off into unchartered space at Warp 10 here we have absolutely no idea what we're getting in Drake Maye, Jerod Mayo and Alex Van Pelt. We can be hopeful and dream big dreams. Otherwise all those opening songs to all those Disney animated features were just a waste of everybody's time. But we'd just be guessing. 

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What we do know is that the duty of developing Maye from a young and raw rookie with an unlimited upside into the Franchise QB he was drafted to be falls squarely to Van Pelt. We know this because Mayo said so in no uncertain terms:

“You know, across the league, most offensive coordinators, they interact with the quarterback, the starting quarterback for the most part. We do have a group of coaches that have quarterback backgrounds, but I would say overall it would be AVP as far as that lead guy. . . . You don’t want Drake hearing too many voices. Once again, that’s why I’m saying that AVP will be the lead guy as far as that communication with Drake." 

And while you can feel good about that, it's just optimism for optimism's sake.  Because no one among us has the first clue about who we're dealing with here. 

Which is to say, practically no one. Drew Bledsoe shared the quarterback's room in Buffalo with Van Pelt from 2002 until the latter's retirement at the end of 2003. In fact, Bledsoe replaced him as the Bills' QB1 after Bill Belichick traded him to Buffalo. And according to him, Maye is in most excellent hands:

"One thing [Maye] has going for him that is very, very significant is Alex Van Pelt. … Alex, from a backup standpoint, he was the one who had the best football mind. And he also has just this incredibly calm demeanor. He played quarterback in the league for a decade. And he's 6-foot and chubby. So obviously he had to win with his brain. 

"So I really think Alex is one of those really special Quarterback Whisperer kind of dudes that is really going to help him."

Look, since I've made it clear I semi-retired from the Patriots Optimism business about five dozen bad decisions ago, it's my default setting to say this is just Bledsoe pumping the tires of his former teammate and his former team. He's always been a big High Road Guy. So it's only natural he'd never say anything negative about a situation no matter what he actually thinks. 

But that's not this Drew Bledsoe. That's Playing Days Bledsoe. This current version of himself is a mogul. A merchant of high end wines and a titan of industry. He's got all the juice to say whatever the fuck he wants about anyone. And, as he's demonstrated, TO anyone:

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The Bledsoe who came out of his corner at the opening bell landing haymakers on the man who took his job and went scorched earth on Belichick through the first three episodes of The Dynasty, clearly has no intention of playing nice with others unless he truly believes it. He could tear Maye and AVP new buttholes and laugh all the way back to his vineyards if he felt like it. 

But instead, he chose to reassure a fanbase in a time of maximum uncertainty. Does that mean he's right? Of course not. But he honestly believes it or he wouldn't have said it. And I have to admit, I'm buying what he's selling. Or to be more specific, I'm buying his hope on Van Pelt and Maye, not his $120 bottles of Cabernet. (I'm more of a Bota Box type.) 

And I have to add that I like this version of Bledsoe where he's back in the fold, so to speak. Commenting on the team he helped put on the map in the mid-'90s. A Patriots legacy who's doing well in retirement and offering up his insight. I hope he's finally over getting benched in 2001. But as long as he's bringing me hope, he can keep on talking.