FOXBORO, MA — It looks like quarterback Drew Bledsoe may finally be getting exactly what he deserves.
Now that Belichick has decided to go with Tom Brady as the quarterback for the remainder of the season, he has created a situation that may qualify as “the point of no return” during his coaching tenure in New England. Considering he has virtually severed any chance he had at mending his relationship with Bledsoe, it’s doubtful that barring an injury to Brady (the apparently “unforeseen circumstance”) that he’ll play again this season. To take it one step further, in the event he does decide that Brady is his quarterback of the future, it’s very possible that Bledsoe could find himself in a new uniform next season.
Odds are regardless of how disappointed he is about being traded, Bledsoe finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief now that he’ll never again have to listen to all those who have spent the past three years trying to deal him out of town. He’d no longer have to deal with being with a franchise which before he came was a laughing stock of the NFL, and is now rarely mentioned in the lower echelon of bottom-dwelling teams. He’d no longer have to listen to all the ungrateful fans who always feel that the grass is always greener if they send one player packing, and replace him with someone who they think will be better for the team in the long run.
You think they would learn from the Mo Vaugn’s and Roger Clemens, as well as from the firing of Jimmy Williams. The majority of those in New England who were happy with that move certainly feel different today.
For those who are looking for football examples they’ll need to also remember Jim Plunkett and most recently Curtis Martin. Many gave the ‘injury-prone’ Martin the “good riddance, who needs you” when he defected to the Jets and joined Bill Parcells who had left for New York one year earlier. For the older folks who watched Plunkett be shipped off, they had the opportunity to spend a couple of Superbowl Sundays watching him win a couple of championships.
It doesn’t matter who it is, but it’s so much easier to sit at home and believe that if you trade one guy for another, that person will always be better than the guy who they have in there.
As a matter of fact, many of these same people said the same thing when Bill Parcells left and Pete Carroll took over as head coach. They immediately felt that their team was good enough to win without the Tuna and sent him the same sentiments when he packed up and headed out of town.
Needless to say we all know how that ended.
But regardless of what goes wrong there is always the knee jerk reaction in New England, and it’s this: “That guy, regardless of who it is, is a bum and they need to trade him for someone else (however rarely can they tell you who).” Yet they wonder why their team can’t bring home the title at the end of the season.
So now judging by Bill Belichick’s recent comments it appears that he feels that quarterback Tom Brady and not Bledsoe gives the New England Patriots the best chance to win. If that’s the case the future can’t be looking good for Bledsoe, who despite having the rug pulled out from underneath him and having his chance to compete for his job taken away, has been the same stand-up guy he’s always been.
Belichick simply feels that Brady’s performance speaks for himself.
“I think that in the last eight games Tom has given our team an opportunity to be in every game other than the Miami game,” said Belichick. “We have had opportunities to win seven of those eight games and we have won five of them.”
“I think that his performance is certainly not one that has kept our team from having a chance to win and I think that’s what the quarterback’s job is. To get the team into the end zone and to win games and I think he has done a reasonably good job. I don’t think it has been perfect, prior to that we were 0-2. I think Tom’s performance speaks for itself. You can take it whichever way you want.”
Despite the fact that his team hasn’t been all that stellar on offense Belichick says that Brady’s record speaks for itself.
“We are 5-3, we are 5-3.”
The fact that the door has been slammed shut for Bledsoe to have an opportunity to compete for his job, along with the upcoming increase in the salary cap this offseason may point to a possible trade now that Belichick has created this controversy.
Like it or not, there wasn’t one before, but there is now.
There are plenty of teams who are in need of a quarterback, including Tampa Bay and Baltimore who if they had a talent like Bledsoe may finally be able to take the next step. Just stop and imagine if it’s Parcells who comes knocking and gives Belichick a chance to ship Bledsoe out of the AFC where it’s less-likely that he’d get burned.
Either way, it’s what Bledsoe deserves. He deserves to go some place where he’s appreciated and all the other nonsense is non-existent. There was an unbelievable clamor from those who wanted Michael Bishop in the game the past couple of years because of his mobility and the fact that he played well against the same scrubs who are now out of football. They can see how foolish that argument was.
Even now if Bledsoe was put back in as the starter, all it would take was one bad game for fans to start chanting for Brady. It doesn’t matter that because of the fact that previous regimes failed to put the right players around him and took away most of his talent. It also doesn’t matter that Brady is the beneficiary of the fact that it took two games for the offensive line to come together and the coaching staff to give Antowain Smith the majority of the plays.
That doesn’t matter.
So should Bledsoe be sent off for “someone better”, the pressure now mounts on Belichick’s experiment with Brady as the future of the franchise. But let this be a lesson to Brady that it won’t be long before there is someone else who the fans want instead. Love affairs with players don’t last in this city, and he can expect that the fact he can do little wrong right now will fade with it.
This is no knock on Brady who has done his job as a back-up filling in for a starter and is winning football games (fans sometimes forget that is the job of a #2 QB, to be able to win). No one wants a back-up quarterback to come in and lose, but it generally doesn’t take long for them to forget that their starter also knew how to win. This doesn’t just go for here in New England, it’s happened everywhere at some point in time.
But the time may come when they watch their former player win with someone else, and it will be a sad day in New England when they have all their friends over to watch Drew Bledsoe play again on Superbowl Sunday, only to hold the Lombardi Trophy high above his head after his new team is crowned as Champions.
It happened with Plunkett and Clemens, and they’ll be just as frustrated when it happens with Bledsoe.
That’s the sad truth about Boston Sports, and it will probably never change. Hopefully for Bledsoe’s sake he won’t have to deal with it for much longer.
Posted Under: 2001 Patriots Season