Drew Bledsoe Says It Took 'Quite a While' for Him to Wear Super Bowl 36 Ring
Drew Bledsoe's "E:60" documentary that aired last Sunday gave lots of insight into how the former New England Patriots quarterback handled his in Foxboro, specifically when Tom Brady became the starting quarterback.
One of the interesting narratives that rose from Bledsoe's conversation about that 2001 season was how he felt after Super Bowl 36. Bledsoe mentioned that despite being part of a Super Bowl winning team, it took him quite a while to wear his Super Bowl 36 ring.
“Truth be told, I didn’t wear (the Super Bowl 36 ring) for quite a while,” Bledsoe said. “I didn’t know where it was for a long time. But now I wear it, every now and then.
“I’m proud of it, partly because I could've torn down the whole show if I wanted to be an idiot. And instead, I tried to be a good teammate. So I’m proud of it, but it took a little while.”
Bledsoe said that his resentment towards wearing it originally stemmed from his bitterness from losing his starting job.
“That was a bitter pill to swallow,” he said. “I thought I was entitled to get my job back, and it turns out I wasn’t, and it doesn’t work that way."
But in the end, instead of sulking, the veteran QB mentored Brady and did what was best for the football team.
“I did some soul-searching, and decided that the only proper way to handle it was to go back to work and be the best teammate I could,” said Bledsoe. “I always liked and respected Tom, and I was proud of him, but at the same time it was a tough thing to deal with.”
Bledsoe was the ultimate team player that season. As a QB that was invested in heavily by the Patriots in years prior, he had all the right to feel entitled to get his starting job back once he returned from injury. But he didn't get it back, and instead of showing animosity towards his coach and his former backup, he took a team-first attitude, which likely went a long way for Brady, who needed some guidance in Year 2 of being in the league.
Bledsoe earned his Super Bowl 36 ring despite not being the full-time starter following his injury. He played during the AFC championship against the Steelers that season after Brady went down due to injury, and threw for 102 yards and a score. That was a massive help for a team that won it all that season, which they might have not done had it not been for Bledsoe's services against Pittsburgh. That's the same reason why he should feel proud to have/wear that ring.