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‘The Dynasty’: Takeaways from Ep. 1 and 2 of Patriots doc

‘The Dynasty’: Takeaways from Ep. 1 and 2 of Patriots doc originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

On Friday, Apple TV+ debuted its 10-part series on the New England Patriots’ 20-year dynastic run.

“The Dynasty,” based on author Jeff Benedict’s book of the same title, chronicles the story of the Patriots from the day they drafted Drew Bledsoe in 1993 to Tom Brady’s departure in 2020. The first two episodes revolved around Brady replacing Bledsoe in 2001 and leading New England to the AFC Championship, where he suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter. That’s where the second episode ends, so fans will have to wait until at least Episode 3 to relive New England hoisting its first Lombardi Trophy.

The initial episodes of the docuseries cover a number of storylines from the pre-dynasty years including Bledsoe’s gruesome and life-threatening injury, Belichick’s controversial decision to stick with Brady as the starting quarterback after Bledsoe was cleared to return, how the QB controversy affected the team and fanbase, and how Brady led New England into the postseason and through the legendary “Snow Bowl.”

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Our Michael Holley and Tom E. Curran covered the team at the time and were interviewed for the docuseries. Alongside fellow Patriots insider Phil Perry, they shared their takeaways from the first two episodes and how they remembered the Bledsoe-Brady era during NBC Sports Boston’s “The Dynastic Post Show.”

Was it really such a big surprise to see Bledsoe lose his job as the Patriots’ starting quarterback?

Michael Holley

“There was an appetite for something else, something different. … I think the lack of awareness of Tom Brady and how he was pushing (Bledsoe) — Brady in 2000 as the fourth quarterback got the coach’s attention, not because he was great at that point. You keep four quarterbacks on the active roster and you (Bledsoe) say, ‘This guy’s not a threat.’ … They kept four quarterbacks. That should’ve been the first clue.

“The other thing, the Brady advantage that Bledsoe didn’t take into consideration. In 2000, Charlie Weis was a new offensive coordinator. That means Brady and Bledsoe got a new offense at the same time. It’s just a matter of who was going to devour it more, who was going to be into it. So Brady intellectually was right there with Bledsoe in knowledge of the offense.

“The other thing is in 2001, Tom Brady had a fantastic training camp and there was a meeting in August among the coaches, and they said, ‘Hey, Tom Brady is probably our best quarterback right now, but we gotta go with Bledsoe.'”

Phil Perry

“The people who very clearly … paint a picture of ‘Drew was done, Drew was cooked,’ and they were right about it, were the guys in charge. It was Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Ernie Adams. You heard from players who believed, ‘Well, this was our guy, what had Brady ever done?’

“Tedy Bruschi is one of Tom Brady’s great friends (and said), ‘Tom had never done a damn thing for us and so why would we believe in him in that moment?’ Laughed at him when Brady went to the front of the room and told these guys, ‘Hey, believe in me, because I’m gonna be pretty damn good here.'”

Tom E. Curran

“Drew’s strength was that he was a downfield thrower. He was not a rhythm thrower, he was not an accurate thrower. He was a big-arm, strong, (Dan) Marino-esque player but he was not quick and he wasn’t a quick decision-maker and they needed a quick decision-maker with this offense.

“And just to actually amplify the attitude, I went back and found this quote for the hell of it. This is Lawyer Milloy from September 26, 2001:

Talking to some of the guys on the offensive side of the ball, they said Brady goes in there and will say, ‘Look, guys, I need a little more,’ or ‘Run a good route because I’m coming to you.’ He’s just that kind of vocal presence that I think they need over there right now.

“Those are the days after Bledsoe got hurt. These guys believed that Brady was better, and I just don’t know why, whether it be Charlie Weis or — I’ve heard guys in the past say, ‘Nobody knew it was coming.’ Nobody knew this was coming, but you did know that Bledsoe was very vulnerable.”

You can watch the full breakdown of the first two “The Dynasty” episodes below, or on YouTube:

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