What if Tom Brady never replaced Drew Bledsoe?
What would the rest of Drew Bledsoe’s career be like if he never suffered the brutal blow that brought us Tom Brady?
Tom Brady’s ascension to being a cartoon character about sports success – disliking strawberries and split ends, being able to dress well with models and winning Super Bowls – made Drew Bledsoe the an easy puncher.
That is an unfair designation.
Bledsoe is Golden Boy. Before the 1995 season, the team signed Bledsoe with the highest average salary in NFL history.
For clarity, owner Robert Kraft included the highest signing bonus in tournament history: $11.5 million.
“This is one of the best investments I’ve ever made,” Kraft said. “This underpins the future of the organization for years to come with one of the best young talents in the game.”
For a time, Kraft’s confidence was justified. Bledsoe led the Patriots to the Super Bowl in the 1996 season. At 24, he was the youngest quarterback ever to start the NFL’s biggest game. He made three Pro Bowl games by the time he turned 25.
The future is frozen. After 1997, the Patriots became mediocre. In 2000, they were badly eliminated: 5-11. The following season, they started 0-2. At the end of the fourth quarter of his second game against the New York Jets in Foxboro, Bledsoe, never confused with Steve Young, pocketed. He needs a first fall. Instead, the Jets’ lineman Mo Lewis leveled him. The hit pushed Bledsoe out of bounds, where he landed near Patriots player Lee Johnson.
“I’ve been in the league for 18 years and it’s the worst performance I’ve ever seen,” Johnson told Jeff Benedict in his bestselling book, age. “I will never forget the noise it made. It was like a truck hit him. I really feel it. I think It killed Drew. ”
Amazingly, Bledsoe is back for the next series. He can’t remember the plays. That has piqued the interest of his backup midfielders. One of them, Damon Huard, spoke to attack coordinator Charlie Weis, who called for assistance.
A scribbled, sixth-round pick from Michigan took Bledsoe’s place and redefined NFL history. Patriots became a dynasty of efficiency and coolness. Bill Belichick, until then, an average NFL head coach best known as the Parcells’ defensive mainstay assistant, became Vince Lombardi. Jet fans get another way to be tortured. Mark Wahlberg made another athlete friend ignore his messages.
That Tom Brady is considered by many to be GOAT and Belichick’s path to genius was described by David Halberstam does not detract from the absurd origin story. So it is not strange to consider the alternative.
What stats would Drew Bledsoe give the New England Patriots if he had never been injured?
What if Bledsoe, 29, was still the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots? Thanks to the simulation built by Strat-O-Matic, the Market Leader in Sports Simulation, we can find out.
Boston sports journalists and popular artists will split based on these (simulated) numbers from 2001 to 2006:
With the exception of these, these are solid stats but can they translate into the stunning success of 2001 to 2006, where the Patriots won three Super Bowls and Brady hosted the event? Saturday night live and act in his panties?
According to the simulation, the Patriots failed to sniff out the Super Bowl for five full seasons with Bledsoe at the center. In fact, the team missed the playoffs twice, ending 8-8 in 2002 and 2005. The Patriots reached the knockout stages of the AFC twice, first in 2003 as a team. was the AFC 2nd seed before losing to the Tennessee Titans, 25-10. A year later, the Pats finished 11-5 and eliminated the Jets on the road. Their post-season run ended in Indianapolis a week later.
Four games in the 2006 season, the Bledsoe era was over. He’s been sent to the bench in place of Matt Cassell or Vinny Testaverde or whoever is most admired. Kraft’s 1st Air Squadron. The move comes after a second straight loss, with an exhausted 32-3 at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Back to reality. After the Jets, Bledsoe’s pulse weakened; shallow breathing. He is rushed to Mass General, where a terrifying picture emerges. The veteran midfielder suffered a torn artery and a punctured lung. Blood pooled in his chest. Bledsoe recently told Dan Patrick that if he went home to rest, he would die.
“If Bledsoe’s injury had taken place in another city, the outcome could have been very different,” Benedict wrote. “By the time he woke up in the ICU to find Kraft, Belichick and Brady standing in his bed, he realized how lucky he was to be alive.”
A new era has also begun.
Of course, Brady is still playing and trying to get past Father Time. Bledsoe retired after the 2006 season when he was replaced by another senior QB, Tony Romo. Bledsoe tells Patrick that he has no grudge against Lewis and considers Brady a good friend. He has had success as a winemaker in his hometown of Walla Walla, WA. He is a husband and father of 4 children. It is a satisfying and rewarding life.
“Nothing compares to the thrill of quarterback in the NFL,” he told ESPN in 2020. “Seventy thousand people are screaming. Or even happier, 70,000 opposing fans will be silent. But there is an equally sense of accomplishment in wine.
“And it felt so much better on Monday morning.”
https://fansided.com/2021/11/23/tom-brady-never-replaced-drew-bledsoe-simulation/ What if Tom Brady never replaced Drew Bledsoe?