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The duo that led the Patriots organization to its second Super Bowl appearance in 1996 are in the news together again.
Bill Parcells and Drew Bledsoe were named first-year nominees to be voted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame. Parcells and Bledsoe join Houston Antwine as the three participants that Patriots fans can vote on starting today and ending May 15.
Bledsoe, now 39, retired from the NFL after the 2006 season. He currently the Patriots all-time passing leader, throwing for 44,661 yards in his career. It can be argued that Bledsoe, along with owner Robert Kraft, saved the Patriots franchise from relocating to another city. Bledsoe’s big right arm put fans in the seats and more importantly, W’s in the win column.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft saw his career take a big turn when New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis belted the running him out-of-bounds in 2001. That year, Bledsoe missed 14 games as the legend of Tom Brady was born.
At the conclusion of the season, the Patriots traded Bledsoe to the Buffalo Bills for a 2003 first round draft choice (Ty Warren). Bledsoe had a productive three-year stint in Buffalo, but signed with the Cowboys in 2005 — reuniting with coach Parcells — where he ended his career.
Parcells, who headed a coaching tree that featured Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin and Sean Payton, coached New England for three seasons, leading them to a Super Bowl bid within three years of being named head coach. Parcells’ stay was an eventful one, but a disinterested connect between himself and Kraft led Parcells out the door.
Parcells wanted more control in player personal, which prompted the Big Tuna to say one of the most unforgettable coaching quotes of all-time.
“They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”
Parcells recently stepped down from the Miami Dolphins organization, where he was the executive vice president of football operations. Parcells is currently working with ESPN on a special piece entitled, “Bill Parcells Draft Confidential.”
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