THE BLEDSOE GAMBLE
by Patriots Insider -- Brian Tarcy
Bill Belichick is a gambler on a hot streak. From benching his best athlete
(Terry Glenn) to sitting the anointed star (Drew Bledsoe), the coach last
season threw dice early and often and at the end he cashed in all his
winnings for a big shiny trophy.
And this off season, he traveled to the football casino again - trading
both of his disgruntled stars. The Glenn trade to Green Bay was a no-brainer
and although Glenn could very well have his best year since his first
year in the league, he had to go.
In what has come to be known as the best coaching job in the history of
the NFL, Belichick's performance last season was highlighted by his handling
of the oft-ticklish Glenn situation. A case can be made that by his absence,
Terry Glenn was last season's most valuable player.
Belichick's handling of Glenn was simply masterful - a case study that
should probably be taught in business schools. Even at the end of the
totally disintegrated relationship, there was enough respect on both sides
to move on without rancor. And so trading away Glenn, though a gamble
from a talent standpoint, is really a win for the team.
The Drew Bledsoe trade to Buffalo is a bit more questionable. Sure, Bledsoe
had to go. That was clear as soon as Bledsoe regained his health last
season and was told to keep holding that clipboard.
But trading him inside the division?
Though he has taken a beating in recent years, Drew Bledsoe is not old.
Sure, he may be on the downside of his career. But what if he's not? That's
the gamble, isn't it?
What if the reason he failed the past few years in New England was because
the team was no good and not built to compliment his strengths?
What if Drew Bledsoe of 2002, fourth among active quarterbacks with 29,657
yards and 166 touchdowns, is reborn as a Buffalo Bill? Well, if that happens,
it hurts at least three ways.
First, if Bledsoe is good that means that the Bills are good and that
means that the two easy victories Patriots fans are counting on may not
come at all. And that means the Bills are competition in the division,
which is not good.
Second, if Bledsoe is good that means the Bills are good and that means
that the number one draft pick the Patriots acquired for Bledsoe falls
from the top ten to the bottom ten. And that is not good.
Finally, if Bledsoe is good there will be a bit of bittersweet taste to
it for Patriots' fans. After all, didn't you expect to root for him for
his entire career?