Brady on Bledsoe in 2001: 'Not going to back up a 5-11 QB' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Even as an unheralded sixth-round draft pick, there never was a doubt in Tom Brady's mind he would overtake Drew Bledsoe as the New England Patriots' starting quarterback.
Legend has it that after Bledsoe suffered an injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season, Brady told his teammates, "He's not getting his [expletive] job back!" Apparently, that wasn't the first time he confidently claimed the QB1 job would be his.
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NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran recently caught up with Tom Brady Sr., who recalled his son making a similar remark to then-Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in the summer of 2001.
"I remember a day after the season ended he was back at the facility working out and was basically there the whole time from maybe it was January 2 to June 30th after minicamp, and he was just working very, very hard," Brady Sr. said. "He came home and, I think this is about July 3 or so, and he got a call from Charlie Weis.
"We were just pulling into the golf club and Charlie said, 'Hey, Brady, how come you're not here working out?' after Tommy had spent pretty much six straight months of working out virtually every day. He said, 'Don't worry, Coach. When I get back there, I'm not going back there to back up a 5-11 quarterback."
Does Weis remember Brady making that bold statement?
"I do," Weis told Curran. "He did have that nice way of, you say cockiness, but confidence. He did have that confidence about him that, being a Jersey guy myself, I've always liked that type of attitude where he wasn't shooting anyone else down, he was just saying hey, this is what I'm all about. That's one of the things that stood out to you."
Who knows how things would've unfolded had Bledsoe not taken that massive hit from Mo Lewis, but Brady was given a chance to prove himself and didn't look back. The following week, he led the Patriots to a 44-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts and from there, New England went on to win the AFC East and an improbable Super Bowl title.
Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills in the ensuing offseason.
"That is the nature of the business, just ask Wally Pipp," Brady Sr. said. "You never want to get off the field. If you get off the field, somebody else can show you what they got, and that's the last thing you want as somebody who's a starter or a player."
Twenty years later, Brady is a seven-time Super Bowl champion who has found a new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll face his former team in a much-anticipated Sunday Night Football showdown on Oct. 3, which likely will mark his final game in Foxboro.