Today we know Tom Brady as a seven-time Super Bowl champion and an NFL legend who has achieved a lot during his career. His successful career can be attributed to his early career confidence when he was drafted by the Patriots who are now struggling today without him.
Even when he just started and was young, he had belief in his abilities to the extent that he challenged a seasoned quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. It was his self-assurance that helped him reach this height of success where he is known as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
Tom Brady voiced his superiority to Bledsoe
At 23 years old, Tom Brady asserted that he could throw the ball better than the established Patriots QB, Drew Bledsoe.
While talking about his early career days the former quarterback shared that he wasn’t motivated by fame or money.
“When I was making $185,000, money didn’t motivate me, fame didn’t motivate me, I had been in all this competition in Michigan I had Brian Griese ahead of me lead us to the national championship I had one of the top recruits in the country Drew Henson and I was staring those guys every day.”
However, what motivated the former quarterback was the belief that he was a better player as compared to Drew Bledsoe, the season quarterback of the Patriots.
“And here I come to the Patriots, get drafted, I’m 4th on the depth chart, and finally see Drew Bledsoe because he signed a 10-year $100 Million contract with the New England Patriots, I looked at him and I go I can throw a ball better than that.”
This confidence stemmed from his experiences in college, competing with notable quarterbacks like Brian Griese and Drew Henson.
But the fact that at that time Bledsoe had already established his career and Tom Brady was just starting and he still knew he could do better than him is a testament to the determination the former quarterback had to play in the league and his self-confidence.
He wasn’t wrong here considering the fact he soon replaced Drew Bledsoe and led the Patriots to the new heights of success.
Bledsoe’s career after Brady became the QB1
Drew Bledsoe was the starting quarterback of the Patriots when Brady was drafted. He was the first overall draft pick in 1993. Before Brady, he played a significant role in the team helping them end the seven-year playoff drought.
During his career with the Patriots, he led the team to four postseason appearances and one Super Bowl in 1996. When Brady joined the team there was no chance for the former QB to get the starting position as the team already had Bledsoe. However, Bledsoe then suffered a near-fatal injury in Week 2 of 2001.
During this time the team gave Tom Brady the starting position and he made his official NFL debut on Sept. 23, 2001. In the absence of Drew Bledsoe Brady played well and got famous.
Post-Brady, Bledsoe never started another game for the Patriots. Despite Bledsoe’s return in the 2001 AFC Championship, Brady continued as the starter and led the Patriots to win Super Bowl XXXVI.
This sudden shift led Bledsoe to change the team and he was traded to the Bills in the offseason. He later joined the Cowboys and retired in 2006. Bledsoe himself said that his career became a footnote to Brady’s career.
“The only thing that does kind of bother me sometimes though, and this is just being totally honest, I feel like my career has kinda been treated like a footnote — you know like it’s just a footnote to Tom’s career,” the former QB said while talking about change in his career after Tom Brady.
Despite his contributions, Bledsoe’s legacy was overshadowed by Tom Brady’s extraordinary success.