by Brendon Rosenau, Patriots Daily Staff
It’s 1993 and the Patriots finished the season with a losing record (5-11) for the fifth straight year. Certainly, plenty had changed since the last time we saw the New England Patriots. Since the team reached the playoffs in 1986, an era of unprecedented (in New England) futility and ugliness flooded the team with the ferociousness of opposing defenses sacking Hugh Millen. As an article in Sports Illustrated that season stated;
“Toiling anonymously in pro football’s Siberia, Bledsoe…”
However, doom and gloom is not what we are about here at Patriots Daily. 1993 may not seem like a remarkable year, but a strong case can be made that it placed a hard kick in the butt of the sorry franchise and started them on the path to glory.
1993 would be the year of the Tuna as Bill Parcells began his four year stint with the team. Parcells first move may have been his greatest as he used the #1 draft pick to select Drew Bledsoe out of Washington State. Who can forget the endless debate of Bledsoe or Notre Dame golden boy Rick Mirer? Parcells made the right call and also made some other quality moves in the draft. He tabbed linebacker Chris Slade and wide receiver Vincent Brisby in the second round and a wideout by the name of Troy Brown in the eighth round.
As far as the season went, Bledsoe’s rookie year was rocky at times but he was 5-7 as a starter and by the end of the year showed the arm that would excite, and sometimes frustrate New England fans for years to come. He missed four games in the middle of the season with an injury and the team sputtered to a 1-11 record before ending the season with four straight wins. The Pats got on the winning side of the ledger with a riveting 7-2 win over Cincinnati in a battle of 1-11 teams. After wins over Cleveland and Indianapolis, Bledsoe turned in the finest effort of his young career with his first career 300 yard passing game in a 33-27 win over Miami. Bledsoe finished the game with 329 yards and 4 touchdowns.
What are your memories of that year? I remember the great play of linebackers Vincent Brown and Chris Slade and the outstanding production of my main man Ben “Winter” Coates.
- Drew Bledsoe 2494 yards, 15 TD (T-10th NFL)
- Leonard Russell 300 carries (2nd) 1,088 yards (6th), 7 TD (T-9th)
- Ben Coates 53 catches-659 yards, 8TD (T-7th),
- Vincent Brisby 45 catches -626 yards
- Michael Timpson 654 yards
- Vincent Brown 158 tackles
- Chris Slade 9.5 sacks
- Andre Tippett 8.5 sacks
- Maurice Hurst 4 INT,
Vincent Brown (LILB),