Drew Bledsoe reflects upon raw emotions after losing his job to Tom Brady

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Over the years, Drew Bledsoe could take solace in the fact that Tom Brady became the greatest quarterback of all time. So when it comes to losing a job, it might feel somewhat better to lose to someone who is the best to ever do that job. In the moment back in 2001, it couldn’t have been easy.

Brady and Bledsoe discussed that key moment in NFL history during the first episode of “Tom Brady: Man in the Arena” on ESPN+.

“With Tom it was bittersweet; love the guy,” Bledsoe said in the first episode, as transcribed by NESN.com. “But at the same time, that’s my job that he’s got. And that’s my team that he’s leading. And I don’t get to go out there and do that. … But I do think that I was able to, in spite of that, actually get my job done and still be supportive. If Tommy was an (expletive), it would have been really, really hard to do that. But he’s not.”

Brady sat behind Bledsoe for the 2000 season when the younger QB was a rookie. In the second game of the 2001 season, Bledsoe suffered from internal bleeding after a hit from New Yor Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. Brady took over in that game — and for the next two decades.

“When Drew got hurt, no one would’ve wanted that, no one hoped for that,” Brady said in the episode. “And I think what I respect so much about him is he never let any of those emotions negatively impact me in any way. And I love Drew, and I respected Drew for everything that he had done.”

Even after Bledsoe recovered physically, coach Bill Belichick stuck with an unproven Brady at quarterback over Bledsoe, who finished his career with four Pro Bowl appearances.

“I never looked at it like it was me against Drew,” Brady said. “He and I personally, we’ve never had an issue. I’m sure it was much harder on him than it was on me because I was the one playing.”