“Coach Decided”: Brutally Injured Tom Brady Decodes Bill Belichick Factor Behind Super Bowl XXXVI Win

Published 02/23/2024, 1:00 PM EST

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The injured ankle almost cost the New England Patriots their monumental glory. It was the year 2002, and the country was still dealing with the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11. As such, Brady and the team were under a lot of pressure to move one step towards the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the only steps the number 12 quarterback took were towards the pavilion as he limped across.

The New England Patriots eventually went on to play against the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl finals and finally hoisted the trophy. The grand win of 2002 became Brady’s first-ever Super Bowl championship win, the spark that would light his fire for the next six more wins yet to come. In a recent story behind the curtain, the Pats players discuss the events of the semifinal match that saw Brady’s terrible ankle injury.

Coach Belichick called it for Brady as he tried to play through his severe injury


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On the newest episode of the ‘Borrowed Time’ show, the Patriots member of 2002 discusses the events that led to their massive Super Bowl XXXVI win. With most of the fans relying on the young Brady to lead the Pats to a win, an unfortunate tackle had him on the green and in anguish after a brutal pain in his ankle. Coach Belichick made the right call in calling Brady off and choosing Drew Bledsoe as the replacement.

In the video, Brady was heard saying, “It was actually the third time that game that the same ankle got hit. It was pretty sore but I was like, “Oh, no, no. I wanna play.” But at that point, the coach decided, “You know what? I think we’re just gonna stick with Drew.”” Fortunately, Bledsoe gave the performance of a lifetime by throwing out an 11-yard touchdown that eventually won the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here’s more on what the win looked like in Bledsoe’s words.

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Drew Bledsoe talked about the Steelers game and the pressure that he was under

When Belichick made the call to make Brady sit the rest of the game out, it meant a tremendous amount of pressure riding on Bledsoe’s shoulders. Before the game, Bledsoe had left the team in week two due to a chest injury. He was going to replace Brady and take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but even as a rusty player, he managed to pull it through for the team.


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In the words of Bledsoe, he said, “When I took the field, all of a sudden things got really quiet. Obviously, the entire world was thinking, “Okay, this guy hasn’t played for a long, long time. That’s it. Game’s over.” But I was gonna compete my ass off in every way that I possibly could because the Super Bowl was so close. To get that close and then not get to go, I was never gonna let that happen.” The New England Patriots won the game over the Steelers by a score of 24-17 with Bledsoe playing a bigger role in the game than the legendary Tom Brady himself.


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Will the Patriots come close to winning a Super Bowl anytime soon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by:

Jeevesh Singh


One take at a time

Jeevesh Singh is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports.With a passion for the game's intricacies, his work focuses on the lives of NFL legends like Brady and Coach Prime, offering unique insights into their personalities and achievements. His writing style is characterized by a blend of analytical prowess and storytelling, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the NFL's most compelling narratives.
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Edited by:

Tripti Sarda