Tom Brady Ducks Question About Replacing Drew Bledsoe 20 Years Ago

What if Bledsoe had just stepped out of bounds?


Sep 23, 2021

September 23, 2001, is the day the New England Patriots dynasty truly began.

It was that day when Pats quarterback Drew Bledsoe, late in the fourth quarter while down 10-3 against the New York Jets, set off running when a play broke down. Bledsoe tried to leg out the first down, but right at the sideline and just before the first down marker, he was met by a Jets defender who flattened him.

That forced Bledsoe out of the game, and in came Brady.

The rest, as they say, is history.

But two decades later, and still playing (but, of course, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Brady didn’t seem to have much interest in talking about it.

“20 years ago — time flies,” Brady said, via a team-provided transcript. “It goes pretty fast. It’s been a long time since that happened. A lot happens in 20 years.”

Brady did give a more thoughtful answer when asked if he ever could have foreseen his career playing out the way it did.

“I don’t think anyone thinks 20 years ago where their life would be,” Brady said. “I certainly don’t think in my wildest dreams I could’ve imagined what’s happened. I am just very appreciative and grateful for all of the different things that have happened over time. Really, it’s just about the support system of people. My teammates over 20 years, my coaches, my family, my friends — I just have great memories. I think sports have a great way of bringing a lot of people together. Sports are kind of integrated into the fabrics of our society for a reason.

“When I was a kid, it brought our family together on Sundays to watch the (San Francisco) 49ers and we had season tickets. It was kind of what our Sundays were all about. We played a lot of softball in our house — my sisters played a lot of softball. They took our family out to the softball fields every night, soccer fields (too). Our family was just kind of based around sports. Sports have a great way of bringing people together, and I think for my family still. It still has allowed everyone to come (together). Like two weeks ago, I had everyone here for the opener which was a lot of fun. It’s been a great journey.”

Whether or not he could’ve predicted it aside, everything worked out for Brady in the end.

And not to get all butterfly effect here, but we really need to talk more about how different things might’ve been if Bledsoe had just made the safer play and stepped out of bounds.

Thumbnail photo via Allen Eyestone via USA Today Sports Images
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