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."
Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss the top priorities for the Patriots as the off-season begins. Who do they need to pursue in free agency, who do they need to keep, and what areas of the roster do they need to address?
Picard and Price give their predictions for SB50 later today.
Danny and Price react to the HOF class that was announced last night. They get into the names and legacies, especially a questionable one in Tony Dungy.
Boston Celtics stud Evan Turner joins the WEEI Celtics Podcast to reflect on the Celtics hot streak going into the All-Star break. Turner discussed how much he values being in a great situation in Boston and tries to get inside the life of Brad Stevens. First, Sam Packard and Jared Weiss chopped it up with Kyle Draper, covering the Celtics thrilling classic against Paul Pierce and the Los Angeles Clippers and broke down potential trade scenarios ahead of the deadline.
Trailing a big win by the Celtics over the Clippers, Paul Flannery of SB Nation calls in to talk everything Celtics.
Danny had just hit the air as it looked like the Celtics would drop a close game to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ride along as Danny goes on the emotional roller coaster of the final 7.5 seconds of the game
Jared Carrabis joins Mut Mutnansky to discuss concerns surrounding the Red Sox heading into Spring Training.
Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes joins Rob Bradford to discuss why he's now a relief pitcher, how important it is that he throws harder than most, lessons he learned from last season, and why his love for two very different restaurants in Cracker Barrel and Twin Peaks
This week the guys are joined by Ian Browne of MLB.com, they talk about Clay Buchholz and the impending opening of spring training
Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss the Bruins' Saturday win over Minnesota, sans Patrice Bergeron, with yet another goal from Brad Marchand
Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss Boston's 6-2 in Winnipeg on Thursday night, an answer night after losing 9-2 at home to LA on Tuesday
Ken Laird & DJ Bean discuss the LA Kings 9-2 win at TD Garden on Tuesday as former Bruin Milan Lucic was one of 9 different players to score during a 57-shot night for the Kings
Robert Kraft on WCVB.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Minihane.
A caller to Mike Francesca duped The Pope into thinking that Oscar Robinson was #29 on the list (he was actually #11) which prompted Mike to go insane.
Patriot fans, as expected, begin to connect the dots in hopes of bringing the talented RB to Foxboro.
Lou did the crossover at 9:55 on Friday, which led to a fiery exchange between himself and Kirk Minihane. Lou tells the story and opines on the situation.
Dale, Michael and Jerry check in with our good friend John Buccigross and talk some NHL hockey.
Dale, Michael and Jerry open up the floodgates on a freestyle friday and talk about whatever you want.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss how good a fit former Bear Matt Forte would be in this Patriots offense.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny, and Lucy are talking Patriots, Red Sox, Presidents and a whole lot more.
Mikey and Mut are talking about free agent running back Matt Forte, and whether he would be a good fit for the Patriots.
Jared Carrabis joins Mut Mutnansky to discuss concerns surrounding the Red Sox heading into Spring Training
Kate Scott, of KNBR in San Francisco, joins Lucy to discuss women in sports radio, the Super Bowl, and how great it is to talk about sports for a living.