Despite being the fourth quarterback on the New England Patriots’ depth chart, undrafted rookie Brian Lewerke is not losing and drawing inspiration from a player who was experiencing his situation two decades ago – Tom Brady. Brady was drafted 199th overall by the Patriots in 2000 and was the fourth quarterback on their depth chart during training camp, behind starter Drew Bledsoe and backups Michael Bishop and John Friesz. It was a wasted roster spot, but the Patriots decided to carry Brady as a fourth quarterback in the 2000 season. Despite this situation, Brady persevered and eventually won the starting quarterback job in his second season after Bledsoe went down with an injury in their opening game in 2001.

The rest was history as Brady led the Patriots to the first of their six Super Bowl titles in a 20-year span before he signed a two-year contract worth $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason.

Tough situation for Lewerke

Lewerke, for his part, is behind Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, and Brian Hoyer. He was earlier released by the team when the Patriots trimmed their roster from 90 to 80 before re-signing him. With three quarterbacks ahead of him, the 23-year-old Lewerke has taken only a handful of snaps in competitive team drills and none during Friday’s scrimmage. This is a tough situation for Lewerke, who was a starter for Michigan State for three years, but he’s not losing hope as he looks up to Brady for inspiration.

In his three years as a starter for Michigan State, Lewerke completed 721 of 1,249 passes for 8,293 yards and 47 touchdowns, but he had 32 interceptions.

Patriots show rookies video of Brady

During a video conference with the media, Lewerke said the Patriots coaches showed the rookies a video of Brady during his first or second year with the Patriots, which was doing mental reps on every single play.

Without the proper snaps, Lewerke said he’s doing what Brady had done in his first year with the Patriots. While on the sideline, Lewerke said he's just staying focused and locked in while trying to picture what he will do every play. The Patriots won’t likely keep Lewerke when they trim their roster to 53 on September 5, but he could remain with the practice squad, which will be expanded from 10 players to 16 this season as a form of COVID-19 insurance.

For now, Lewerke is using his time to learn from Newton, Hoyer, Stidham, and the coaches as much as he can, adding that he looks up to Newton being the older guy. As of now, Newton is ahead of the quarterback competition as he had played six offensive series on Friday while Stidham and Hoyer each got 2 ½ series. Brady, for his part, was impressive during his first scrimmage at Raymond James Stadium, throwing for 170 yards and a touchdown.