Tue 9 Sep 2008
Scene: Interior, executive offices of New England Patriots. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are seated at a conference table, watching looped QB footage. Tom Brady looks on from couch at rear of room, knee heavily bandaged.
[Voice comes over intercom]
Receptionist: Mr. Belichick? It’s him again. He’s on line two.
Belichick: [Hangs head]. What the hell is wrong with this guy? This is the fifth time today!
Receptionist: I’m afraid he’s been pretty much calling nonstop since the press conference, sir.
Belichick: Alright, alright. Put him through.
Pioli: [Shakes head.] Here we go again.
Belichick: Drew, I’m really sorry, but this has got to stop. We’ve got a lot of work to do here and…
Drew Bledsoe: [Audibly agitated.] Just hear me out, Bill. I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been thinking…
Belichick: [Irritated.] We’ve been over this a hundred times, Drew. It’s just not the right fit and…
Pioli: Drew, it’s Scott. Listen, you still mean a lot to this team, but I’m afraid we’ve decided to go in another direction.
Bledsoe: Look, I hear you, Scott. Hell, I’ve been hearing that my whole career. But let’s take a walk down memory lane for a moment, shall we? It’s the least you can do for me at this point.
Bill: Drew, now’s not the time for….
Bledsoe: Over 44,000 total yards. 251 touchdowns. Youngest Pro Bowl QB in NFL history. Does any of this ring a bell, Scott?
Pioli: [Conciliatory]. Come on, Drew. Nobody’s questioning the fact that you were a fantastic quarterback. But a lot’s changed since then. The whole league‘s changed.
Bledsoe: [Irate]. Nothing’s changed, damn it! You think I can’t outsling Matt Cassel?
Belichick: [Laughs awkwardly]. And?
Bledsoe: And Testaverde? You’re telling me you’d rather have Testaverde out there? The guy has grandkids, for crying out loud! Come on! The Foxboro crowd would be all over this, Bill. They love me!
Belichick, Pioli & Brady: [Awkward silence].
Belichick: Drew, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to let you go now. It’s been great talking to you, but we’ve got a long night ahead of us and…
Bledsoe: Wait! Just give me a second! Scott, you gave me the 10-year deal in 2001. Ten years! You and I both know that I’d still be on the field today if it weren’t for the Mo Lewis hit. [Voice cracks]. Sorry. It still gets to me.
Belichick: [Increasingly irritated]. Drew, listen….
Bledsoe: No, you listen, Bill! You know as well as I do that if it weren’t for that hit, Brady would still be carrying my jock!
Brady: Drew, I’m right here. How are things in the coffee business?
Bledsoe: [Stutters nervously]. Ummm, fine, Tom. I’m doing just fine, for your information.
Brady: Good to hear. Hey, we should get together some time.
Belichick: [Glares at Brady]. Look, Drew, we gotta run.
Bledsoe: Put me through to Kraft!!
Belichick: Sorry, Drew. I’ve got Rob Johnson on the other line.
[Belichick hangs up].
Pioli: [Shakes head]. Sad.
Belichick: Tell me about it. He’s completely lost it.
Brady: I really like that guy. So, are we going with Doug Flutie or Steve Beuerlein?
[Belichick and Pioli laugh nervously as footage of Neil O’Donnell being sacked plays in background].