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."
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
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John Farrell has named Clay Buchholz the starter for Tuesday's opener. Koji and Christian Vasquez are already ruled out. Vasquez on the 60 day DL.
Wrestlemania was a trial run for Super Bowl 50. More Christian dog stuff. Superintendent in Chief William Gross of the BPD deals with some idiotic protesters after the fatal shooting in Roxbury on Friday night.
Shawn Thornton is now a member of the Panthers, who come to town tomorrow night. Thornton spoke about Claude Julien's control of the Bruins locker room, and his own team playing his former team on Tuesday night.
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Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Kirk's massage and crap all over Sausage.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
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