Sports Q: Who is the best player to wear No. 11 in Patriots history?

Drew Bledsoe and Julian Edelman both hold strong arguments.

New England Patriots Julian Edelman sits during game against the Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman sits during a game against the Buffalo Bills. –(Stew Milne/AP Images for Head & Shoulders)

Welcome to’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through TwitterFacebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation. 

I liked what you wrote in Tuesday’s column about similar players wearing similar numbers, especially Tedy Bruschi and Dont’a Hightower, two guys who made so many big plays in big games. It made me think of a tough question for Sports Q. Which Patriot was a better No. 11, Drew Bledsoe or Julian Edelman? I have to go with Drew because he was so important in bringing credibility. But it’s tough, isn’t it?  What do you think? – Mike T.


Wow, this has to be one of the tougher either/or questions we’ve ever had at the Sports Q.

Do you go with Bledsoe, the second-best quarterback in franchise history (no shame in that), one of the most prolific passers in league history (he’s 15th all-time with 44,611 passing yards, more than the likes of Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, and Aaron Rodgers), and someone as you said who rescued the franchise around (along with Bill Parcells and Robert Kraft)?

Or do you go with Edelman, who owns one Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award, made perhaps the greatest circus catch in NFL history in a comeback from a 28-3 deficit in another, and scored the winning touchdown with just over 2 minutes remaining in yet another?

Actually, now that Edelman’s remarkable Super Bowl feats are distilled to one sentence like that, he has to be the choice, doesn’t he? He’s been as important to the second half of this Patriots dynasty as any player other than Tom Brady.

Bledsoe was a great Patriot, and remains an immensely likable person in retirement. But the best No. 11 in Patriots history? I think it has to go to Edelman now.


(For the record, the only other No. 11s in Patriots lore are Tony Eason, Joe Kapp, Shawn McCarthy, Butch Songin, and Dick Shiner. Not exactly an illustrious number until Bledsoe came along in ’93.)

But what does everyone else think? Who is the best No. 11 in Patriots history? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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