I'm not really into the whole quantum physics thing; but I was watching NFL Network the other day and they had a really cool bit on What if? scenarios, such as what if Ryan Leaf was a Colt, or what if Drew Brees signs with the Dolphins instead of the Saints. Here's some scary scenarios that could have altered the course of the Jets and the rest of the NFL universe.
What if: Mike T refuses to trade up for Shonn Greene in the 2009 draft?
Well, assuming he would be taken before the Jets picked, We would have had to get through the season with Thomas Jones. Despite his greatness, he was clearly the slower and more used of the backs. Shonn does not establish the ground game in the playoffs (If we make it that far), and would not have had his game-winning TD in both the Charger and Bengal game. We would not be a final four team. We could have drafted a RB high. Or traded for one. The possibilities make your head hurt.
What if: Vernon Gholston was the bona-fide pass rusher he was supposed to be?
Super Bowl Champs. I firmly believe that Gholston, indirectly, cost the Jets a chance at the Superbowl. If he is in the game against the Colts, and he has at least above-average pass-rush skills, there would be a need for the blitz on Manning, and he would have never gotten into that unstoppable rhythm he tends to get into.
What if: Bill Parcells never joined the Dolphins?
Well, first, odds are that Tony Sporano may have not been the coach. The Wildcat would have never seen the light of day. As a result, Miami does not go on to win the division. Does Chad Pennington wind up in Miami still? Do the Jets win that last game of the season to sneak into the playoffs? Then Mangini keeps his job? Is Sanchez drafted, with no Mangini to trade junk players to? Is Cleveland the same team? Rex Ryan is still an assistant? You may need more Tylenol.
What if: Aaron Rodgers does not slide in the 2005 NFL Draft?
If Rodgers is snatched up earlier in the draft, then Favre is never pushed out of Green Bay. He's not on the Jets. Pennington may still be the QB. Miami never wins the division in '08. Do they still draft Sanchez? The other possibilities are almost endless.
What if: Atlanta had hired Rex Ryan as its next coach?
Assuming Mangini was still fired, who would be our coach now? Cower? Shanahan? Mark Sanchez may not be the QB. Kyle Wilson wouldn't be a Jet. Defense is good, not great. Last year could have been dismal without Rex's defense and the players he brought with him. Could the Jets have been picking high in this draft? Could they have been looking for a new QB? Clausen? TEBOW? (I had to, sorry). Is Mike T still around? Doubtful.
We can go even further outside the Jets impact. Is Matt Ryan a Falcon? Maybe he slips to the Jets. Maybe the Jets draft Ryan instead of Gholston. El Sanchito is not a Jet. The 2008 playoffs would be different. Oh, the possibilities. Pass the Advil.
What if: Mangini never switched to a 3-4?
Jonathan Vilma never goes to New Orleans. It's difficult to picture them having the defense they had without him. Vilma is not there to make that spectacular TD pass deflection in the Super Bowl. Maybe Payton has another ring? He is now considered the best of all time. On top of that, David Harris would have never been drafted.