2011 Patriots Hall of Fame finalist QB Drew Bledsoe held a conference call Tuesday to discuss his time in New England with the Patriots and his possible induction into the Hall at Patriots Place. Despite being replaced due to injury and then traded to rival Buffalo, #11 had nothing but positive things to say and fond memories of his time with the Patriots. He started off by calling his consideration for the Hall a “great honor” and had to cycle through a “big data pack” of memories to pick out his fondest.
…when I was drafted and came up to New England for the first time and the welcome I received with my family. You’ve got the small town kid from Walla Walla moving across the country and being installed as a figurehead of an organization. It was pretty heady times, but the welcome I received and that we received just that first day when we came up was a bit overwhelming.
…to finish that first season winning four in a row and to beat the Dolphins on the last play of the season to knock them out of the playoffs, that was a memory that certainly clearly stands out.
In ’94, the game against the Vikings stands out…I remember at halftime of the Vikings game or just before the half, I think it was, actually, I was having problems with my shoes, so I went and changed my shoes to a different pair of cleats. And from then on we seemed to get pretty hot, so I got pretty attached to those cleats and wore them for the rest of the season, and we went on to win seven in a row and make the playoffs for the first time.
Beating the Steelers in Foxborough in the fog and somehow being underdogs at home but coming out and beating the Steelers in a pretty convincing fashion. I’ll always remember the first play of that game; I went deep with Terry Glenn right by Rod Woodson for almost a touchdown. I’ll still never forgive Terry for not getting in the end zone on that first play.
…certainly one that will always be ingrained in my mind was when I got to finally come back in and play against the Steelers in the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh when Tommy sprained his ankle. That’s a memory that I will take with me forever and ever; to be able to come back in after not playing and to help our team to win that game to get to another Super Bowl is a memory that will always stick with me.*
*Personal note: This is probably my favorite Bledsoe moment, namely his first drive back in that game. It ended with a touchdown pass to David Patten.
On Patriots Fans
The fans in New England were always so supportive and passionate in their support of me and the Patriots while I was there. It was a pretty magical thing to be a part of.
On His Role in the Resurgence of the Patriots Organization
…under the stewardship of Bill Parcells and moving on obviously to the ownership of the Kraft family, it’s really become one of if not the marquee franchise in the NFL. Certainly I’m very proud of whatever part I played in that rise to prominence of the organization. You know the comment I made to my wife the last time [we were in New England] was I really felt like during my time there the organization went from one place to a much better place and then from there, once I left, it’s continued to go onwards and upward. I’m certainly very proud to have been part of that resurgence of the Patriots and I also take some degree of pride in seeing where they’ve gone since I left.
Bledsoe also went into his thoughts on Bill Parcells, Brett Favre, who he keeps in touch with from the Patriots organization, and what he’s up to now. You can read the full transcript of his conference call HERE or you can listen to the conference call HERE. You can vote for either Bledsoe, Bill Parcells, or DT Houston Antwine for induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame HERE.