Monday, April 16, 2007

Drew Bledsoe and History

Let's dispose of the easiest analogy first. Drew Bledsoe was Wally Pipp. He was a perfectly capable player who through no fault of his own was replaced by someone who turned out to be an historic great. Remember this, gang: If Brady had been better than Drew BEFORE the Jets' game, Belichick would've had no hesitation about replacing him.

If, however, we are searching for an historical equivalent to Bledsoe smong NFL quarterbacks, then the best comparision is Roman Gabriel. First pick of a draft, could throw a ball through Mt. Rushmore and was almost as fast as the monument, solid career but couldn't quite win the big one, and shockingly fast back nine of said career. (Yeah, I know that's a sentence fragment. I'm the editor here).

One more thing about Drew: He was totally not lucky. Imagine being the quarterback of a team in the Super Bowl whose brilliant coach is so stubborn the game plan is built around kicking to Desmond Howard-hottest return man in NFl history. Imagine being the starting QB for a coach who had the intellectual courage to first give you a megacontract, then bench you for someone who he thought was better. Believe me, that last sentence is the real longshot misfortune of Bledsoe's career.

Bledsoe was and is a good guy. But he was unlucky. The memorable day in November 2001 when Belichick announced Brady would be his QB although Drew was healthy, the coach could've saved a lot of time and trouble had he quoted Napoleon.

Asked how he picked HIS field generals, the emperor of France said, "I choose the lucky ones."


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