FanDuel - WFBC

April 12, 2007

Bledsoe retires: Drew Bledsoe hangs it up after 14 years. Given his daunting stats but lack of a ring, is he merely another Marino? If not, how should we remember him? How does he rank among the greats?

posted by brainofdtrain to football at 10:10 AM - 48 comments

Bledsoe has a ring from the Patriots' first Super Bowl. That said, I realize the perception is that he was lacking that big piece of the resume because he did not quarterback a team to a Super Bowl victory. I don't think he is in Marino's category and I don't think he's a Hall of Famer. To borrow a terms used in certain baseball circles, he belongs in the Hall of Very Good, but not the Hall of Fame. This is based totally on my gut feeling and sense that he was very good, but not great -- I never really felt in watching him that I was watching a future Hall of Famer.

posted by holden at 10:47 AM on April 12

I never really felt in watching him that I was watching a future Hall of Famer. really? Not even when he threw for 4500 yards in his 2nd season? There were certainly stretches in there were he looked like a hall of famer to me.

posted by bdaddy at 10:59 AM on April 12

Yawn. If Bledsoe outed himself or referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as either nappy or as hoes (or any combo there of) then you might have something on this board, but retirement?

posted by gradys_kitchen at 11:08 AM on April 12

I was thinking about posting this very article but in all honesty, I didn't think it was newsworthy. Don't get me wrong, I respect what Bledsoe has done in his career but I do have to agree with holden where he mentioned that it's not like it felt I was watching a future Hall of Famer at the quarterback position. He was suffice but not awe-inspiring but then again, what the hell do I know? There were certainly stretches in there were he looked like a hall of famer to me. Recently? Maybe early in his Patriots career but not as a whole. Doesn't it take a whole career to detemine whether a player is HOF material or not? In my estimation, he also had stretches where he just looked plain awful. It's like the game word association: Drew Bledsoe = Living, breathing statue

posted by BornIcon at 11:11 AM on April 12

I'll always remember him when I see Tom Brady play

posted by luther70 at 11:17 AM on April 12

Holden, wow i'm an idiot. How could i have forgotten about Bledsoe's ring? Thanks for the correction. I agree with you though, that the fact that he had little to do with that ring still makes him very "Marinoesque." I'm not quite as sold on the idea that he isn't a HoFer. Here are some stats: He finishes seventh all-time in yards passing, 13th in touchdown passes and fifth in completions (3,839). Those seem like pretty solid #'s. I think that they might be good enough.

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:22 AM on April 12

Doesn't it take a whole career to detemine whether a player is HOF material or not? I think that this is a bit unfair. There was more than one great qb who got benched at the tail end of his career. Does that negate their worthiness for the HoF? I doubt it.

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:25 AM on April 12

agree with you though, that the fact that he had little to do with that ring still makes him very "Marinoesque." He won the AFC championship game because Brady was out hurt. That had a "little" to do with it..

posted by Debo270 at 11:40 AM on April 12

Not even when he threw for 4500 yards in his 2nd season? I think that season includes a game where he attempted 70 passes in an OT win over the Vikings. He was certainly good, but the 4,500 yards were as much a product of the lack of other options as his arm. As a Pats fan, Drew and I had some good times together and he was a class act off the field. But I'll remember him as a guy who lacked self-reflection. He was unable to recognize his flaws, which means he never adjusted. Moreover, it made things uncomfortable the last few seasons when he refused to accept the idea he might not be a first-string QB anymore (and I bet if some team offers him the starting gig he'll unretire real quick). All that said, I'm glad we didn't pick Rick Mirer.

posted by yerfatma at 11:41 AM on April 12

I think that this is a bit unfair. There was more than one great qb who got benched at the tail end of his career. Does that negate their worthiness for the HoF? I doubt it. No but we're not talking about other QB's, we're talking about Bledsoe but where's the part that's a 'bit unfair?' It's the truth, you have to take a look at the whole career of a player before one can determine if they're deserving of going into the HOF or not, just look at former Ravens RB Jamal Lewis a few years back when he ran for over 2000 yards, does that make him HOF material? As far as the 'great QB being benched at the tail end of their career', I recall Bledsoe being benched not only in the 'tail end of his career' with the 'Boys but also while playing for the Patriots (his 1st team). It's called not performing to his full potential. He has decent enough numbers but there's no way you can put Bledsoe and Marino in the same category or even in the same breath. Marino is a legend while Bledsoe is....well, like my mom always said, if you have nothing nice to say.....

posted by BornIcon at 11:45 AM on April 12

The question I have about Bledsoe: If Tom Brady was a flash in the pan, would Bledsoe have led the Pats to the subsequent Super Bowls? A very good quarterback would look great with that many rings.

posted by rcade at 11:55 AM on April 12

No but we're not talking about other QB's, we're talking about Bledsoe but where's the part that's a 'bit unfair?' It's the truth, you have to take a look at the whole career of a player before one can determine if they're deserving of going into the HOF or not, just look at former Ravens RB Jamal Lewis a few years back when he ran for over 2000 yards, does that make him HOF material? As far as the 'great QB being benched at the tail end of their career', I recall Bledsoe being benched not only in the 'tail end of his career' with the 'Boys but also while playing for the Patriots (his 1st team). It's called not performing to his full potential. He has decent enough numbers but there's no way you can put Bledsoe and Marino in the same category or even in the same breath. Marino is a legend while Bledsoe is....well, like my mom always said, if you have nothing nice to say..... it's amazing how someone could put up the 7th highest number of passing yards having spent as much time on the bench as you're implying here. brady was the person who fit new england better when he came along; in buffalo, bledsoe was a quarterback on a team that exploited his weakness with mobility because they couldn't provide him with a working offensive line. in dallas, it was obvious that it was a last gasp for him. 14 years is a long time.

posted by dfleming at 12:02 PM on April 12

The question I have about Bledsoe: If Tom Brady was a flash in the pan, would Bledsoe have led the Pats to the subsequent Super Bowls? A very good quarterback would look great with that many rings. no, but i dont think if you put a pure slinging passer in new england like marino is his prime that they'd have those rings either. brady's got a level of creativity that few have had and finds ways to get the best out of seemingly washed up players when he needs it.

posted by dfleming at 12:03 PM on April 12

it's amazing how someone could put up the 7th highest number of passing yards having spent as much time on the bench as you're implying here. I'm not implying anything, I'm only telling it like it is. You may not agree and that's all well an good but facts are facts. He may have the 7th highest passing yards but does that automatically qualify him as HOF material? He was ok but he was never great and the HOF is for great players and he's just never been great. Now let's get on with a real topic like the 3 Duke lacrosse player's case being thrown out. I tried to post that story earlier but for whatever reason, our moderator deleted it.

posted by BornIcon at 12:06 PM on April 12

Towards the end of the Bledsoe's run in New England, his skills were deteriorating. He had some great couple of years but for years he scared no one. I can't see him ever being in the Hall of Fame or even getting strong consideration.

posted by jc at 12:09 PM on April 12

is he merely another Marino Mrs. Bledsoe should be so lucky. There was nothing mere about the numbers Marino posted, Bledsoe, whatever.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:17 PM on April 12

Speaking of the Duke LaCrosse team... Okay, I won't hi-jack this forum. But it would be a great post. Bledsoe thanks for the memories, but I just don't see you with Montana, Young, et. al.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 12:46 PM on April 12

"Was he great?" This is the only pertinent question. And greatness (not really good) is hardly a matter of opinion. Most people know it when they see it. Often times greatness becomes evident early in one's career. Drew was not "great". He was good, and had a few shinning moments. He could light it up for four straight games, then play like a rookie and make the dumbest throws imaginable. The Pats fans I know were happy when he got split open on the sideline and Brady was called into duty. The guy got benched for Tony friggin Romo! Romo is shite... The problem with HoF debates is the poor precedent that has been set in both football and baseball. Too many schmucks let in over the years causes people to say, 'well if __Y__ got in with these numbers, then we should let in __X__ because his numbers are comprabable. Forget the numbers. When he played did you often say to yourself or your mates in section 303, "WOW!"? For this reason alone I'll pass on Bledsoe and put in Terrell Davis.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 12:56 PM on April 12

Drew Bledsoe was great for his first eight seasons. Not good -- great. Looking at the top 10 all-time passing yards ... 1. D Marino 61361
2. *B Favre 57500
3. J Elway 51475
4. W Moon 49325
5. F Tarkenton 47003
6. *V Testaverde 45281
7. D Bledsoe 44611
8. D Fouts 43040
9. J Montana 40551
10. J Unitas 40239 ... I think Bledsoe reaches the Hall of Fame by virtue of the numbers, the Super Bowl trip and the AFC Championship game win as Brady's backup. His numbers aren't the result of playing forever like Testaverde, and all the other QBs on the above list are in or are locks for the hall.

posted by rcade at 01:02 PM on April 12

Romo is shite... Your opinion. He was better than Bledsoe last year and at least has a starting QB job. He'll be just fine. His numbers aren't the result of playing forever like Testaverde His numbers are from a 14 year vet throwing it at least 35-45 times a game. Of course he's going to have some numbers, just about any QB would if they were pretty much a starting QB throwing that much. Well, it's like the same with just about any and everything, some people will agree and some people won't and I'm ok with that. People should express themselves and give their opinions....even if it is about Drew Bledsoe and his credentials.

posted by BornIcon at 01:10 PM on April 12

I think Bledsoe reaches the Hall of Fame by virtue of the numbers, the Super Bowl trip and the AFC Championship game win as Brady's backup. His numbers aren't the result of playing forever like Testaverde, and all the other QBs on the above list are in or are locks for the hall. agreed. The closest comparison on that list to me is Moon and Moon is in, no? He was certainly good, but the 4,500 yards were as much a product of the lack of other options as his arm. Looking at rcade's list, that's true of Marino, Farve, Moon, Tarkenton, Fouts..... The guy got benched for Tony friggin Romo! Romo is shite... The most illogical argument on this thread so far He may have the 7th highest passing yards but does that automatically qualify him as HOF material? He was ok but he was never great and the HOF is for great players and he's just never been great. the problem is the argument of "great" versus "very good" is subjective and will vary from voter to voter. Stats are hard to argue with and that's why guys with good stats usually get the nod.

posted by bdaddy at 01:17 PM on April 12

Stats are hard to argue with and that's why guys with good stats usually get the nod. Very true but not always. We're talking about the Hall of Fame people and Drew is no Hall of Famer. There's no comparison between Drew Bledsoe and Warren Moon. Look at the list rcade compiled, Bledsoe is above Dan Fouts, Joe Montana and the late, great Johnny Unitas, was Drew better than them just because his name is abover those guys? No way and he could never be even if he did play another year. Sorry but that's just one man's opinion~

posted by BornIcon at 01:28 PM on April 12

Drew Bledsoe was great for his first eight seasons. Not good -- great. Yeah, I don't disagree with that, he just seems to be missing something in my memory. Maybe it's in comparison to Brady, but it feels like Bledsoe was very one dimensional and had a terrible time adjusting in-game to what defenses were doing. I know it's not a fair test, but if you had to play one game for your own life and the 6 guys above him on the list were already taken, would Bledose be your next choice?

posted by yerfatma at 01:48 PM on April 12

Bledsoe's carrer passer rating is 77.1. All the rest of those guys on the list of all-time yardage had much better ratings (except Vinny - but you knew that). I think it matters when it comes to HoF worthiness. But, they've never been too shy about adding QBs, so I think Bledsoe has a chance. However - he never won anything (AFC Championship game - look at his performance), and gaudy numbers aside, would hardly have been considered among the best at his position for long enough to hang with the other guys (save Testaverde) on that list.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:51 PM on April 12

In looking into this issue, I am having an awful time finding good historical NFL stats. I am curious as to how Bledsoe stacks up to other HoF QBs (either in now or sure things like Favre) in terms of INT thrown, completion percentage, QB rating, adjusted yards per pass, etc. Weedy -- where did you get the historical QB rating info.?

posted by holden at 02:17 PM on April 12

In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Drew Bledsoe might have HOF credentials. It remains to be seen, but the big drawback to his making it is his lack of post-season success. It always seemed to me that the Patriots were just a few players short of assembling a really decent team around Bledsoe. I often wondered what he would have done with one of the contenders when he was in his prime. All-in-all, thanks for some good times, Drew. You are a class human being.

posted by Howard_T at 02:46 PM on April 12

most illogical argument on this thread so far Sorry bdaddy, it wasn't really an argument, more like a *friendly* rub/joke to the Cowpoke in here ;) My argument is that stats do not matter much when considering HoF bids. Especially in football. We can't just put people in because they have some magic number in ONE or two statistical categories. I disagree that "greatness" is subjective or defined by an 'efficiency' calculation, RPI index, or 'slugging' percentage. Gayle Sayers has less than 5,000 rushing yards for his career, Terry Bradshaw's QB rating......a modest 70.9 Before we vote in the *great* Drew Bledsoe lets look at all the stats not just passing yards. How about: 206 INT -more picks in his last year as a starter (17) than his first (15) -four seasons with more picks than touchdowns 123 Fumbles -so we have a total of 329 turnovers to 261 total touchdowns Postseason: Year Opp Result | CMP ATT PYD PTD INT | RSH YD TD ---------------------+--------------------------+----------------- 1994 cle L,13-20 | 21 50 235 1 3 | 2 2 0 1996 pit W,28-3 | 14 24 164 1 2 | 1 -1 0 1996 jax W,20-6 | 20 33 178 0 1 | 1 4 0 *1996 gnb L,21-35 | 25 48 253 2 4 | 1 1 0 1997 mia W,17-3 | 16 32 139 1 0 | 2 4 0 1997 pit L,6-7 | 23 44 264 0 2 | 2 -4 0 2001 pit W,24-17 | 10 21 102 1 0 | 4 1 0 ---------------------+--------------------------+----------------- TOTAL | 129 252 1335 6 12 | 13 7 0 -4Wins-3Losses with 6 TDs and 12INT

posted by r8rh8r27 at 02:50 PM on April 12

Bledsoe was an average QB with good durability. He hung around long enough to compile some good total yards numbers. Total yards are not the whole picture. When your team is constantly loosing and you are playing from behind against soft or prevent defenses it is easy to add up a lot of yardage. Of course you also throw a lot of interceptions. Good by Drew nice career, but no hall of fame. Nobody will be talking about Drew Bledsoe 10 years from now during discussions of great QBs. Certainly not like they will be talking about Manning, Marino, Namath, Stabler, Montana, etc.

posted by Atheist at 03:29 PM on April 12

Total yards are not the whole picture. When your team is constantly loosing and you are playing from behind against soft or prevent defenses it is easy to add up a lot of yardage. Of course you also throw a lot of interceptions. The only problem is you're not describing Bledsoe's career.

posted by yerfatma at 03:36 PM on April 12

Marino re-wrote the NFL's passing record book. Bledsoe, well, didn't. To compare the two of them for the sake of establishing a Hall of Fame criteria is misguided at best. Marino and Don Shula revolutionized the passing game. Bledsoe didn't do anything revolutionary, unless you consider standing straight up against Mo Lewis revolutionary, which it might have been. One of the stupidest football decisions I've seen in a long time, but possibly revolutionary.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:23 PM on April 12

Now let's get on with a real topic like the 3 Duke lacrosse player's case being thrown out. I tried to post that story earlier but for whatever reason, our moderator deleted it. I have no idea what could possibly be discussed about this case that wasn't hashed and re-hashed over and over in the many previous postings about the subject. The only thing it could possibly lead to is small-minded morons posting about: a) how women lie about rape charges b) how every man is a potential rapist c) if they weren't rich/white/priviledged, or she wasn't poor/black/downtrodden, things would have been different d) how Duke sucks

posted by grum@work at 04:29 PM on April 12

It's a problem of perception for Drew. He has two strikes against him: One, he never was mentioned among the greats of his era. When I think of great QBs of the 90s, I think Brett Favre, I think Steve Young, but I don't think of Drew Bledsoe. Two, he arrived in a time that was a little bit of a stopgap, between the ending of the dynasty that was Marino/Kelly/Elway, and the rise of the QBs of today, like Brady and Peyton, who highlight their era. Bledsoe just lacks the idea in most people's heads that he is a great qb.

posted by Bonkers at 05:03 PM on April 12

Romo is shite... Your opinion. He was better than Bledsoe last year and at least has a starting QB job. He'll be just fine. posted by BornIcon at 1:10 PM CDT on April 12 BornIcon, I was about to do it again, but I saw you got there first, got there first. My sentiments exactly...

posted by sumokenobi at 05:09 PM on April 12

farewell drew in my opinion they should keep him im sure he can hold the ball before a field goal attempt alot better than tony romo. get your hot tamales $5 a dozen get em while they're hot!!!

posted by bEaNeR at 12:16 AM on April 13

If there hadn't been some homecooking when they spotted the ball on Jason Witten's catch (which was a first down), there wouldn't have been anybody holding anything.

posted by sumokenobi at 03:26 AM on April 13

Drew Bledsoe WILL be in the Hall of fame. It's just that simple.

posted by wdminott at 03:45 AM on April 13

Drew Bledsoe WILL be in the Hall of fame. It's just that simple. Nothing is ever that simple but I didn't know you had a vote to be so assured. Or are you actually Drew?

posted by BornIcon at 04:41 AM on April 13

farewell drew in my opinion they should keep him im sure he can hold the ball before a field goal attempt alot better than tony romo. If there hadn't been some homecooking when they spotted the ball on Jason Witten's catch (which was a first down), there wouldn't have been anybody holding anything. And, if Drew Bledsoe had been the quarterback, they would've finished the regular season at 6-10 and missed the playoffs altogether.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:25 AM on April 13

I love to hate on Bill Simmons ("Santa Monica Sports Guy") these days, but he used to do some tremendous writing. His summation of Bledsoe's years in New England still ranks for me as the definitive Drew recap from the Boston perspective. Although he never achieved greatness, he was one of my favorite athletes as a kid, despite the fact that he was little more than an immobile statue with a cannon for an arm. He was part of the resurrection of the Patriots franchise, so I'll always appreciate him for that.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:03 AM on April 13

Bonkers i think that you make some good points. If Drew had been putting up his #'s in the thick of the 2 eras you mention, there's little doubt he would be talked about differently.

posted by brainofdtrain at 08:03 AM on April 13

I'm not a Bledsoe fan;but in his defense the surrounding casts he worked with early in his career were very sub-par on both sides of the ball . It was late in his career with the Pat's when the core and surrounding players became a strong group. By that time he had taken alot hits, and had alot balls dropped attemping to engineer come from behind victories . When a quarterback throws 70 times in one game completes 45 and you only score 26 points there is something wrong. Where was the running? Can we really believe Bledsoe threw 25 bad passes? Or did the recievers drop 10? My point is, Bledsoe threw alot in his career because he was all the Pat's had for a good stretch. When you drop back alot with a sub-par line you get sacked; with wideouts that can't get open you get sacked even more. Bledsoe tried for years to put the Pat's on his shoulders; just when the core got stronger the coaches were done with him; he was used up. All the hits he took, the load he put on his arm, the media bashing meant absolutely nothing. The system and surrounding casts a quarterback has to works with can make or break his career. Never once during the bad times did Bledsoe want out. So, if there is Hall-of-Fame for sticking it out lets give Bledsoe that much, rather than talk about what he did not achieve. He suited up every Sunday and threw his ass off, trying to make something happen for a team rebulilding. Would the other Hall-of-Fame QB's have faired as well in the same position?

posted by fourthreeforty at 12:07 PM on April 13

the surrounding casts he worked with early in his career were very sub-par on both sides of the ball Are we referring to the 1996 Superbowl team? Curtis Martin? Terry Glenn? Willie McGinest? #1 picks wind up on crappy teams by default. The Pats did a good job building around him quickly and Bledose made the most of what he had back then. For me, it was his inability to get to the next level after the Superbowl (which is at least partially the fault of Pete Carroll and the GM whose name escapes me), not his early returns.

posted by yerfatma at 12:25 PM on April 13

the GM whose name escapes me Bobby Grier.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:01 PM on April 13

I was suppressing the name and all those stories about bad drafts, coddling Terry Glenn, Chris Canty's smoking, etc. Thanks for nothing.

posted by yerfatma at 01:40 PM on April 13

The man loved to shop for groceries. Too bad he kept coming back from the store with gnarly expired dairy products and rotting plantains.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:50 PM on April 13

4-3-40, i think i see your point. I wonder if archie manning is in the HoF. He certainly fits the "i went out and played hard for a crappy team" criteria. Interestly, i've only heard good thnigs about him.

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:23 PM on April 13

I wonder if archie manning is in the HoF. The College Football HoF - yes. The pro HoF - no.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:37 PM on April 13

After reading through the first several comments, both pro and con, it occured to me that Drew was to quarterbacks what Lloyd Carr is becoming to coaches. They both have almost all of the needed traits (in spades!), but they've both displayed an inability to make timely in game adjustments when their nuts are really in the fire. People like that tend to do very well on a day to day basis, but stumble when a situation nears crisis proportions. So, are the numbers great? Yup. Was Drew? That's not so cut and dried.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:43 PM on April 14

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.