Drew Bledsoe was the latest guest on the "Pats from the Past" podcast and shared plenty of great stories and anecdotes from his time with the Patriots.
The first overall pick in 1993, Bledsoe's arrival helped usher in a new era in Patriots history, culminating with a trip to Super Bowl 31 in 1996. Bledsoe's eventual departure was just as significant, as the quarterback sustained a major injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season, opening the door for his backup Tom Brady to seize the spotlight. Later in the year, Bledsoe would be called upon in the AFC Championship in replacement of the injured Brady, throwing a touchdown and helping lead the team back to another Super Bowl.
Though New England went on to win five more Super Bowls with Brady, Bledsoe remains one of the most appreciated Patriots in team history. He was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2011, a ceremony that Bledsoe said was cathartic for his family, providing a more ideal ending to his tenure with the team.
Here are five great takeaways from the episode!
On his first time meeting Gisele Bundchen and her kind words to him:
"[Tom and I] bumped into each other skiing in Montana and, by the way, Tom still is not a very good skier, apparently now he's really fast but out of control, but we were there I said hi to him up on the hill and I was skiing with the kids and took off," Bledsoe told host Matt Smith. "At the end of the day...all of a sudden there's nobody on the hill so I just go ripping down and I get to the bottom and I see Tom getting his skis off and he was with a female, so I just assumed it was Gisele. So I came ripping down and I came in to spray him, I was just going to cover him in snow.
"Well of course I miss Tom and just cover Giselle with snow and I've never met her at this point. Tom looks at me like it's go time... I walk over and give Gisele a big hug and she hugs me back and so we're were walking in and she goes, 'Understand that I don't normally give people hugs when I meet them for the first time but you don't understand how you're talked about in our house.' That was a really cool moment because obviously there's a ton of mutual respect there, it was a cool thing."
On his love of Patriots fans
"It's really fun for me now when I go back because the people that were fans then are older now and I feel like they have this really strong feeling that we're buddies and I feel that way too," said Bledsoe. "Instead of 'Hey, we gotta get a selfie or sign an autograph,' they're like, 'Hey Drew, how are you doing man, how's the wine business,s good? It's hi and keep moving."
On getting pranked by Hall of Famer Andre Tippett:
"It was my rookie year and Andre was always very kind but he also was Andre Tippett, one of the baddest dudes to ever walk the planet, NFL linebacker, now Pro Football Hall of Famer but he was also 7th-degree black belt," said Bledsoe. "We were walking in after practice so there were kids hanging around the facility. So I'm walking next to Tippett and this little kid comes up to ask me for an autograph and Tip looks down at the kid and goes 'beat it, kid, get out of here, no autographs,' to this little 11-year-old. I froze. 'OK, Mr. Tippett said no so I guess I'll just go downstairs.' Tip came up a few minutes later and he'd gone back to the kid and grabbed what he wanted signed to have me sign it. Turns out he wasn't messing with the kid, he was messing with me and he did, he scared the crap out of me."
On facing his heroes on the field, starting with two epic games to start the 1994 season:
"You have to realize, for me, that's Dan Marino, he was part of that '83 draft class. I was 11 when he got drafted, so him and John Elway and Jim Kelly and all those guys, they were my heroes right about the time that I started to watch football. So in the '94 opener, I'm going toe-to-toe with Dan Marino and it was sort of one of those whoever had the ball last was going to win the game and for me that was awesome. I think the next week we had another showdown with Jim Kelly and for me, it was really really cool but it was also one of those deals like, 'OK, now I belong here, I can go toe to toe with my heroes."
On what changed in the second half of the epic 1994 comeback against the Vikings:
"At the end of the first half we went two-minute offense and we went down and scored before half time and Zolak still claims that it was him," said Bledsoe. "I think he at least did say something to Parcells, 'Why don't you just go two-minute and let the kid go?' So we did and then we went two-minute offense the entire second half. People forget because we threw at 70 times and came back and won it but our defense also stepped up and shut them off in the second half."
Pats from the Past Podcast
The 'Pats from the Past' podcast features in-depth conversations with some of the greatest Patriots players in franchise history. Hosted by Sr. Executive Producer Matt Smith, and Patriots.com's Paul Perillo, who combined have nearly forty years of experience in the organization to expertly tap into the players and their unique insights.
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