While the rest of the nation piles on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for potentially altering the footballs in the AFC Championship Game, there is one individual – who likely knows him better than the majority of the No. 12 naysayers across the country – who is tired of the onslaught the gunslinger has endured.
No. 11 is not happy with the way this is all going down.
“It’s really started to piss me off,’’ said former New England Patriots star quarterback Drew Bledsoe, in a Friday night interview with Boston.com after a day of answering the bell across the country. Admittedly he took on the interviews to help give light to his Doubleback Vineyards venture, but he wound up fielding a flood of accusations calling his former colleague a liar and a cheat.
“Tommy and I are friends,’’ said Bledsoe. “When he took my job, it was tough. I didn’t like that. But it never had anything to do with Tom. He always conducted himself with class. When I see people come out and accuse him of being a cheater and a liar, I’ve got to stand up and say something. It’s just not true. It’s not who he is. It’s not what he’s about.
“To see a guy who has impeccable integrity being accused of being a liar and a cheater, I finally had to stand up and say something. It started to make me mad.’’
The tipping point for Bledsoe’s anger was when a pair of fellow former NFL quarterbacks weighed in on the conversation, calling Brady not only a liar, but labeling this recent “Deflategate’’ a worse scenario than the New Orleans Saints’ “Bountygate’’ controversy.
“I was really frustrated,’’ said Bledsoe. “Because Mark Brunell is a friend of mine. And Troy Aikman is a friend of mine. And I like these guys and respect them. But I think it was really irresponsible of both of them to go make accusations that Tom’s lying without the facts.
“Put it this way, if I thought Tom was cheating, or lying, I simply wouldn’t say anything until I knew all the facts. But for guys to stand up and say that he cheated and that he’s lying about it without having all the facts in hand, I think that’s pretty irresponsible. I really do.
“I think they’re put on a spotlight and have to talk about it and express an opinion. But I don’t know why they would do that. There’s nothing to gain from accusing him. At a certain level there’s a quarterback fraternity where you kind of support each other. There aren’t that many people in the world that understand everything that we go through, and I was really disappointed to hear that. That’s when it really started to bother me.’’
When asked if Bledsoe had talked to Brady, the former overall No. 1 draft pick said he sent his former teammate a text of encouragement. Brady thanked him, then the two went right into a conversation about Bledsoe’s son and his lacrosse adventures.
Bledsoe is adamant that Brady’s statements are from the heart and nothing short of true.
“If Tom had done something wrong, he has a good head on his shoulders, and I know he has good advisors around him that would have told him, ‘Hey, if you did something wrong, then own it, and this is over.’ But that’s not what he did. And I 100 percent believe him.’’
Listen to the full Drew Bledsoe interview on Tom Brady: