Almost overlooked in the euphoria of the Patriots’ Monday Night Football victory over division rival Miami is the fact that legends Jon Morris and Drew Bledsoe will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame this weekend.
Morris went to Holy Cross but it’s not as if he was just some second tier local player; he was an All-American, captain of the Senior Bowl, and was the second draft pick of Â Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers in 1964. Morris instead chose to go with the Patriots due to his relationship with Mike Holovak, who had selected him with their third pick andÂ 27th overall in the AFL draft.
Morris went on to play for eleven seasons for the Pats and was an All-Star for seven consecutive seasons, six as an AFL All-Star and was then one as an AFC Pro Bowler the following year. Morris played 128 games with the Pats, which is still theÂ 8th most in franchise history and only one player in Pats’ history has more All-Star/Pro Bowl appearance, the great John Hannah who had nine.
Morris was also a member of the second team of the All-Time All AFL Team, the Patriots 1960′s All-Decade Team, the Pats’ 35th Anniversary Team and the Pats’ 50th Anniversary Team. Morris was a big part of the success that running back Jim Nance and quarterback Babe Parilli had with the Pats back then.
A bit of trivia: Morris is the second player in the Patriots Hall of Fame that wore #56; Andre Tippett is the other.
Drew Bledsoe needs far less of an introduction since most current fans can remember him watching him play. At the time he was traded to Buffalo Bledsoe had broken almost every career and single-season passing record in franchise history, and he still holds the NFL record for pass attempts in a season, pass attempts in a game, and pass completions in a game thanks to an epic win against the Vikings in 1994 which started a seven-game winning streak. That led to the Patriots’ first playoff appearance in eight years, as the Pats went on to make the playoffs in four of the next five seasons.
Festivities kick off on Thursday afternoon in a media event at Gillette. Then on Friday there will be a private alumni event and dinner at the Patriots Alumni Club. At 5:00 PM on Saturday the induction ceremony will take place outside the Hall at Patriot Place. This is a free event and open to the public; I highly encourage all Patriot fans to attend. Following that there is a separate VIP event at the Putnam Club at Gillette, which requires tickets.
Then on Sunday Morris and Bledsoe will be honored at halftime of the game against San Diego. Everybody there, please be as loud and proud as possible for these two greats.
Congratualations to both Jon Morris and Drew Bledsoe on this well-deserved honor.