A transcendent, transitional figure

Soon-to-be Pats HOFer Bledsoe put team on the map, then gracefully ceded to Brady

Updated: September 16, 2011, 5:46 PM ET
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Looking back at the first moment of his NFL career, Drew Bledsoe remembers flying with his family from Washington state to New York City for the draft. He had never been on an airplane prior to his college career. A Bledsoe family vacation had always been piling into the back of the station wagon and going for a drive outside of Walla Walla, Wash. So having his family with him, walking through the concrete canyons of Manhattan was "the Waltons going to the big city."

He ...

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