Bledsoe on their minds

Even though he no longer plays for the Patriots, Drew Bledsoe was the main topic of interviews with New England head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Belichick sidestepped direct questions of why the team would trade Bledsoe within the AFC East.

"Buffalo paid a significant price for him," Belichick said. "Any time you give up a significant player, you expect to get something for him. In this case, we got something significant [a 2003 first-round draft pick] for him."

"But are you frustrated that he's in the same division?" he was asked.

"We really can't control what other teams do, so being frustrated with that isn't important. We were trying to do what was best for our football team. We really can't worry about what 31 other teams are going to do. You'd really have to talk to the other teams about what they were thinking, whether it was salary cap or anything else. It would be pure speculation on my part. Does it matter? It's really not that important."

"Was trading Bledsoe your toughest decision?"

"I don't really rank them. It's a tough decision any time you're dealing with a significant player, especially a player like Drew who's been in New England a long time, who's a leader. In the end, I had to do what was best for our football team."

Belichick was complimentary toward his former quarterback and the Bills.

"Drew's a good football player. He's played a lot of good football in his career. That's really no secret. He's a good solid football player who has played well. They're running well; they're blocking well; they're as good as any team in the league this year. They're as good an offensive team as we're going to play. They've been coming together in the defensive game and in the kicking game. They'll be a challenge for us."

Tom Brady, the man who replaced Bledsoe with the Patriots after he was injured last season, also talked about Bledsoe.

"When I first got here, the first time I met him, I was sitting in quarterback school and he came in. He's a guy who is just very classy, just a guy to want to have as a friend. He's playing great football, and that's good for him. We have to put a lid on him."

Brady didn't have a strong feeling about having Bledsoe playing against the Pats in the AFC East.

"At some point, no matter where he goes, we're going to end up facing him. It just so happens we're going to play him twice a year. He's going to want to play his best against us, and we're going to want to play our best against him.

"My energy is going to be on those corners I'm facing, who are pretty good."

From the Bills' end, Eric Moulds said, "We're not Drew, so I can't say what he's feeling. But I do know the players want to go out and win the game for Drew."

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