Former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to talk about his time in New England, his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame and what life his life is like after football.
"The thing that I'm most proud of is being part of those teams that really started to turn the franchise around," Bledsoe said. "I came here in '93, the franchise hadn't had a lot of success for a number of years prior to that, and when I left here in '01, things were really headed toward where they are now, which is probably the premier franchise in the National Football League."
After being drafted No. 1 overall by the Patriots in 1993, Bledose quickly became the face of the franchise. In 1994, he led New England to its first playoff appearance in eight years. Two years later, Bledsoe carried the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI, where they fell to the Packers. His last season with the Pats was 2001, when Bledsoe suffered an early season injury and was replaced by a quarterback by the name of Tom Brady, who would lead New England to a Super Bowl victory that year.
After stints with the Bills and Cowboys, Bledsoe retired in April 2007. He ended his career fifth in NFL history in both pass attempts (6,717) and completions (3,839), seventh in passing yards (44,611), and 13th in touchdown passes (251). He was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in May and will be formally inducted this Saturday at Patriot Place.
Even though it was Bledsoe and then-coach Bill Parcells who turned New England into a winning franchise, Bledsoe says he isn't bothered when people credit Brady and Bill Belichick for turning around the Patriots.
"I'm just glad that I was and teams that I was on, I'm glad that we were part of a resurgence of that," Bledsoe said. "All you really want when you depart some place, you want to feel like when you leave, it's better than it was when you got there. And I feel like we did that."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On his time with the Cowboys and Bills: "I really did enjoy my time that I spent in Buffalo. They're great football fans over there. There's not a whole heck of a lot going on outside of football in Buffalo, so they certainly show up for the games. So, that was a fun place to play. And then going to the Cowboys for a couple of years, first of all, it was nice to be warm for a change coming from the AFC East. We enjoyed that time, too. Obviously, my heart and soul is with the Patriots and always will be, but I enjoyed those other two stops as well."
On his chances of getting in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: "Obviously, that would mean a ton. It's a great honor, but it's not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. Handicapping my chances of getting in, I really honestly don't know. I think when you put my resume up there, it stacks up pretty nicely, but it's not a done deal, so I don't know. I'm certainly, right now, focused on this honor that's been bestowed on me by the fans of the New England Patriots."
On ending his career at age 34: "Honestly, it wasn't really necessarily that I couldn't play or couldn't play at a high level anymore. At that time, it would have been another move, leaving the Cowboys and going some place else. I wasn't willing to do that and all that that entails. For me, it was just time for the next phase in my life. I'd played football for a lot of years and loved every second that I did, but I knew that when the time came to move on, I was very ready to do that. It wasn't so much quitting football as it was moving on to the next phase of my life, and I've really enjoyed every little bit of it."
On his post-NFL life in Oregon: "I honestly keep myself very, very busy with the wine business and we're involved with a couple other businesses that demand a lot of my time. Thankfully, a lot of that time can be phone time except when we go out, I've done some marketing trips. I'm able to shape my business around my life, which is quite a luxury, but I do stay awfully busy."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia talks to former federal prosecutor John Down about the NFL's discipline process and what should be changed.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Jason defended himself against Minihane.
The top stories of the day.
Former NFL running back Eddie George is upset that Judge Berman overturned Tom Brady's suspension and is speaking out, calling Tom Brady a cheater.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.
Adam Schefter joins the show to talk about the breaking news that Tom Brady's suspension has been overturned, and gives his inside opinion on the result.
Now that the ruling has been overturned, Dale and Holley with Thornton check in with the legal analyst that was at the forefront of this case... SI's Michael McCann
Now that Brady is free, here's a recap of a good amount of the hate they faced the last 8 months.
We discuss Bob McNair's now infamous quotes about the Patriots, and how his comments, uniformed as they may be, are probably representative of other NFL owners, and thus the reason Roger Goodell can push forward with this situation without worrying about blowback from the owners.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
WEEI.com's Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss Tom Brady beating the NFL in court and the final roster cuts for the Patriots heading into the 2015 season.
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
McCann gave us his thoughts on yesterday's proceedings.More from this show