New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi is always an entertaining interview and he recently joined ESPN’s Ryen Russillo and shared a story he had never told before- how he broke the finger of Drew Bledsoe and possibly ushered in the era of Tom Brady in “one of the most regretful things I’ve ever done in my entire playing career.”
Bledsoe was working his way back from his week 2 injury against the New York Jets and trying to compete for the starting job with Tom Brady, but Bruschi accidentally ruined any potential comeback.
“I have never told this story, bro, but you just sparked it in my mind,” Bruschi said. “So I’m walking off the field, practice is over, practice is over. And that’s when Drew, he wasn’t getting...he wasn’t getting like real reps, you know? So he would go and get drops in with the receivers, with the backup receivers, and make sure his timing was still there and anything. And I knew that hit was still on his mind, right?
“So there was this one, he dropped back as we linebackers were walking off the field, he was like dropping back into us, and I sort of got in front of him, like ‘Ahhh!’, to give him a sense of ‘Here comes the rush.’
“Drew threw the ball, and his finger hit my thigh, and it broke his [throwing] finger. That’s how he broke his finger! I was like, ‘oh no...’ because I was messing with him.”
“I went home, and I was just beside myself,” Bruschi added. “Because I didn’t know does Bill [Belichick] think this guy is going to be the starter again.”
Russillo asked if Bruschi thought the finger injury to Bledsoe gave the starting job to Brady and if it were actually Bruschi responsible for the Patriots dynasty.
“No, no, maybe it was an excuse,” Bruschi laughed. “Belichick might have thought ‘Hey, he broke his finger, now he’s really out, so I’m not going with him.’ But I don’t think so. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t think it was a factor.”
So, there you have it. Tedy Bruschi, the heart of the Patriots defense and the soul of the dynasty, also helped the offensive side of the ball make one of the most difficult decisions in sticking with Brady over Bledsoe- even if he won’t take the credit.