An Alternate 1989 NFL Draft

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

NFC EAST: The Giants have the same year as in OTL (13-3). The Eagles and Redskins also do the same, except the Skins get one more win, and finish 11-5 to Philly’s 10-6. The Cardinals are helped some by Deion, but don’t do better than 6-10 because of the underwhelming Steve Walsh at QB. Dallas, in the first year of the Rosenbach era, finish 4-12. Jimmy Johnson has more work to do.

NFC CENTRAL: The Bears, Bucs, and Packers fought all year for the division title. GB, with Aikman and rookie RB Emmitt Smith, pulls it out with a 10-6 record. The Bears finish at 9-7, and the Bucs finish at 8-8.

The Lions and Vikes pull up the rear. Detroit goes 4-12, and the Vikings disintegrate to 3-13. Jerry Burns is fired at the end of the year.

NFC WEST: The 49ers have only one blemish on their schedule en route to a 15-1 record. Allen, Montana, and Rice prove to be a lethal trio. The Saints finish one game out of the playoffs at 8-8. The Rams finish at 5-11, and the Falcons finish 3-13 in the first year of the Joe Bugel era.

NFC PLAYOFFS

WILD CARD

Redskins 24, Eagles 10
Packers 21, Bears 17

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

49ers 28, Redskins 10
Giants 24, Packers 6

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP

The Giant defense is able to hold SF down, and they knock Joe Montana out of the game (as in OTL). However, Marcus Allen closes out the game, and the 49ers are on their way to SB 25, 13-12.

SUPER BOWL XXV: Bills vs. 49ers

ODDS: 49ers by 4 ½

It appears that Joe Montana may not be able to go this week, so Steve Young will have to start this one against a hot Bills team. The 49ers are still favored because of experience, but it won’t be a cakewalk like last year in New Orleans.

THE GAME: Steve Young, starting in his first SB, had a good game, with three TD passes. However, the Bills’ No Huddle offense caused problems for the 49ers. Thurman Thomas rushed for 135 yards, and Jim Kelly had four TD passes. The Bills win their first SB 31-24, and Thurman Thomas wins MVP.
 
COACHES FIRED

Rod Rust, Patriots
Bud Carson, Browns
Sam Wyche, Bengals
Jerry Glanville, Oilers
Jerry Burns, Vikings (GM Mike Lynn was also let go)

1991 NFL DRAFT ORDER

1. Patriots
2. Falcons
3. Steelers (from DAL thru MIN)
4. Browns
5. Cowboys
6. Lions
7. Broncos
8. Rams
Jets sacrifice pick: They drafted Rob Moore in the 91 Supplemental draft
9. Cardinals
10. Bengals
11. Falcons (from IND)
12. Saints
13. Buccaneers
14. Oilers
15. Bears
16. Chargers
17. Seahawks
18. Eagles
19. Packers
20. Steelers
21. Chiefs
22. Redskins
23. Dolphins
24. Raiders
25. Giants
26. 49ers
27. Bills
 
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COACHING CAROUSEL

Eagles: This is one I forgot about. They still lost to the Redskins in Round 1, so Ryan is still fired, and replaced by offensive coordinator Rich Kotite.

Patriots: Syracuse HC Dick MacPherson will replace Rod Rust as Patriot leader. And, Coach Mac has brought in former Denver DC Joe Collier into the fold for the same position.

Browns: After interviewing Mike White and Bill Cowher, and trying (and failing) to interview Georgia Tech HC Bobby Ross (of the National Co-Champs), Bill Belichick, Giants DC, will be the next HC of the Browns.

Bengals: Paul and Mike Brown interviewed (or tried to interview) several people, like SF OC Mike Holmgren, KC Defensive Coordinator Bill Cowher, WR Coach Dave Shula, and Jets DC Pete Carroll. They also asked Bruce Coslet if he wanted to come back to be the Bengal HC. In the end, though, Mike Holmgren will be the next HC in Cincinnati. His daughters are graduating high school in June, so he will be available.


Vikings: They also had a wide interview list with the same names plus Stanford HC Dennis Green and Illinois HC John Mackovic. Dennis Green will be the new HC in Minnesota. He thought about bringing in Chief DB coach Tony Dungy for DC, but he decided to bring in Buddy Ryan for that position after consulting with departed HC Jerry Burns (who thought about doing that if he stayed).

Oilers: Jack Pardee will replace Jerry Glanville in Houston.

OFF-SEASON PLAYER RUMORS

After playing well in the Super Bowl, there are suitors for Steve Young. The Raiders are high on the list. The Chiefs are also likely to put their hat in the derby since Steve DeBerg is getting up there.

Now that Dennis Green is HC in Minnesota, it looks like the Herschel Walker experiment is over. Also, Buddy Ryan may lobby to trade for one of his former Eagle players.
 
OFF-SEASON and PRE-DRAFT MOVES

*
It was close, but Ronnie Lott will stay in SF through the 1993 season. He signed a three-year deal in November, but there was talk of putting him on the Plan B list.
* Herschel Walker was released by the Vikings and new HC Dennis Green. The Eagles and coach Rick Kotite moved in, and signed him to a two-year deal.
* Steve Young will become a Raider. The Raiders have traded Tim Brown and a 1991 second-round pick to the 49ers for Young and WR Mike Sherrard.
* After Rocket Ismail priced himself out of NFL team's demands, the Pats traded the #1 pick to Dallas for the fifth overall pick, CB Ron Francis, MLB Eugene Lockhart, and David Howard.
 
1991 NFL Draft

1. Dallas (from NE):
Russell Maryland, DT, Miami
2. Atlanta: Bruce Pickens, CB, Nebraska
3. Pittsburgh (from DAL thru MIN): Herman Moore, WR, Virginia
4.
Cleveland: Eric Turner, S, UCLA
5. New England (from DAL): Todd Lyght, CB, Notre Dame
6.
Detroit: Mike Croel, OLB, Nebraska
7. Denver: Charles McRae, OT, Tennessee
8.
L.A. Rams: Eric Swann, DT, No College
9.
Phoenix: Antone Davis, OT, Tennessee
10. Cincinnati: Alfred Williams, OLB/DE, Colorado
11. Atlanta (from IND): Leonard Russell, RB, Arizona St.
12. New Orleans: Alvin Harper, WR, Tennessee
13.
Tampa Bay: Pat Harlow, OT, USC
TRADE! Oilers trade 14th pick to the Jets for 1991 second-rounder and 1991 third-rounder.
14. N.Y. Jets:
Brett Favre, QB, Southern Miss.
15.
Chicago: Kelvin Pritchett, DT, Ole Miss
16. San Diego: Stanley Richard, S, Texas
17.
Seattle: Dan McGwire, QB, San Diego St.
18.
Philadelphia: Stan Thomas, OT, Texas
19. Green Bay: Vinnie Clark, CB, Ohio St.
TRADE! Steelers trade 20th pick to Patriots for 1991 second and fourth rounders.
20. New England (from PIT):
Harvey Williams, RB, LSU
21.
Kansas City: Mike Pritchard, WR, Colorado
22.
Washington: Bobby Wilson, DT, Michigan St.
23.
Miami: Huey Richardson, OLB/DE, Florida
24. L.A. Raiders: Todd Marinovich, QB, USC
25.
N.Y. Giants: Jarrod Bunch, FB, Michigan
26. San Francisco: Ted Washington, DT, Louisville
27. Buffalo: Henry Jones, S, Illinois

SECOND ROUND

28. Pittsburgh (from
NE): Roman Phifer, ILB, UCLA
29. Atlanta: Browning Nagle, QB, Louisville
30. Pittsburgh (from
DAL thru MIN): Ed King, G, Auburn
31.
Cleveland: John Flannery, C, Syracuse
32.
Dallas: Dixon Edwards, OLB, Michigan St.
33.
Detroit: Randal Hill, WR, Miami
34.
Denver: Reggie Johnson, TE, Florida St.
35. L.A Rams: Darryl Lewis, CB, Arizona
36.
Houston (from NYJ): Mike Dumas, S, Indiana
37.
Phoenix: Mike Jones, DL, N.C. State
38. Cincinnati: Esera Tuaolo, DL, Oregon St.
39.
Indianapolis: Shane Curry, DE, Miami
40. New Orleans: Aaron Craver, RB, Fresno St.
41.
San Diego (from TB): George Thornton, DL, Alabama
42. Houston: Ricky Watters, RB, Notre Dame
43.
Chicago: Chris Zorich, DL, Notre Dame
44.
San Diego: Eric Bieniemy, RB, Colorado
45.
Seattle: Doug Thomas, WR, Clemson
46. Philadelphia: Jesse Campbell, S, N.C. State
47.
Green Bay: Reggie Barrett, WR, UTEP
48. Pittsburgh: Ernie Mills, WR, Florida
49. Kansas City: Joe Valerio, OL, Penn

50. San Diego (from WAS): Eric Moten, G, Michigan St.
51.
San Francisco (from MIA): John Johnson, LB, Clemson
52.
San Francisco (from LAR): Chuck Webb, RB, Tennessee
53. N.Y. Giants: Kanavis McGhee, OLB/DE, Colorado
54.
San Francisco: Merton Hanks, DB, Iowa
55.
Buffalo: Phil Hansen, DL, North Dakota St.

GALLERY IN NY UP IN ARMS ABOUT THE FAVRE PICK

After the Jets traded up to draft So. Miss QB Brett Favre, there was loud jeering from the Jets faithful. They were up in arms because they didn't draft Dan McGwire. However, Dick Steinberg and assistant Ron Wolf calmed their fears, saying that Favre will be a great one, and that they just have to give it time.

STEELERS LOOK TO HAVE BEST DRAFT

The Steelers, who ended up with four picks in the first two rounds, got some guys that they feel can help them. Herman Moore is the WR they have been looking for since Swann and Stallworth. Phifer will help them transition from the aging David Little at ILB. Ed King will provide them with a big presence on the interior line. Also. Ernie Mills will help add to the WR depth.

They also added Oklahoma TE Adrian Cooper in the fourth round, and Penn St. RB Leroy Thompson in the sixth round. Good haul for the Steelers, who look like they are back.
 
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1991 Predictions

AFC East:
The SB Champion Bills should roll to another 13-3 finish, and be in Minnesota in January. For second, I like the Jets to finish 9-7. They were close in several games last year, and they should challenge for the postseason this year. Miami should end up around 7-9 or 8-8. They have had many holdouts, and they really didn't improve the defense in the draft. Huey Richardson looked lost in pre-season. The Colts and Pats should bring up the rear at 6-10 and 4-12, respectively.
AFC Central: This should be a war between the Oilers and the Steelers, who seem to be back on top. The Oilers will edge them out with a 12-4 record, but the Steelers will be 11-5 and get a Wild Card. In Ohio, two new eras start: The Mike Holmgren era in Cincinnati, and the Bill Belichick era in Cleveland. In Cincy, the offense shouldn't change much since Wyche and Holmgren are both from the Bill Walsh coaching tree. However, the defense won't improve much, and that should lead to a 7-9 finish. As for Cleveland, Belichick will endure growing pains, and the Browns should go 4-12 in his first year.
AFC West: The Raiders, with the addition of Steve Young at QB, should repeat as West champs with a 12-4 record (side note: Raiders cut former 49er Roger Craig, who went back to 49ers on a one-year deal to be a backup to Marcus Allen. Nick Bell will be the man until Bo comes back from baseball). The Chargers, in the second year of the Majik era, should finish 11-5. The Chiefs will finish 10-6, and they will regret that they didn't take Favre or trade for Steve Young since DeBerg may fall off a cliff any day now. The Seahawks took their QB of the future in Dan McGwire, but mediocrity and 7-9 is in their present. And, the Broncos may be in a free-fall. This could be the last year of the Dan Reeves era. Elway is great, but he doesn't have much around him, and the defense struggled. 5-11 it is.

AFC Champion: Bills

NFC East:
1991 is for the Birds. The Eagles, with a stout defense, Randall, and the addition of RB Herschel Walker, should finish first at 12-4. The Redskins are considered SB favorites by many, but Mark Rypien didn't look good in pre-season, and this team has seven starters over 30. They should finish 10-6 because of Gibbs, but look for the Stan Humphries era to start in Washington this year. Dallas should make a move to third place, but I don't see their youth movement doing better than 8-8 this year. One more draft may be necessary for playoff contention. The Giants enter a new era: The Ray Handley Era. After the surprise resignation of Parcells in May, the Giants gave the HC job to Ray Handley, who recently got a promotion to offensive coordinator to keep him from going to law school. They are also getting older, so I see a decline to 7-9. And, the Cardinals, in year two of the Fritz Shurmur era, won't go anywhere with Tom Tupa and the below-average armed Steve Walsh at QB (even though there is talent there, with TE Jay Novacek [who doesn't go to Dallas in this world because Joe Bugel isn't with the Cards], CB Deion Sanders, S Tim McDonald, WR's Ernie Jones & Ricky Proehl, and RB Johnny Johnson). 5-11 seems likely, which may have Shurmur back to DC duty in 92 somewhere else.
NFC Central: I see GB and Chicago tied for first at 10-6, with the Bears winning out on tie-breaker. The Vikings should jump up to third. They looked much improved in pre-season. Buddy Ryan has this defense playing better, and QB Rich Gannon and second-year RB Terry Allen look good. I see them going 8-8, but if they do better, it won't be surprising. The Bucs should be 7-9 because of Barry Sanders, but the D will hold them back. And, look for the Lions to bring up the rear at 5-11 unless Andre Ware emerges.
NFC West: Joe Montana is out for at least four weeks due to a torn ligament and tendon in his elbow. There is a chance that this could linger. So, Steve Bono will open up as the starting QB. I still have this team winning the West, but at 12-4, not 15-1. The Saints should end up 10-6 this year. They have a great defense, and Bobby Hebert will return. Also, they did upgrade their WR and RB cores in the draft with Tennessee's Alvin Harper and Fresno State's Aaron Craver. The Falcons will be improved, with the additions of Bruce Pickens and Leonard Russell in the draft, and they put Chris Miller on notice with the selection of Browning Nagle. I see an improvement to 8-8 in year two of the Joe Bugel era. The Rams' fall from the NFC Title Game to doormat in 1990 was unbelievable, but the defense was probably the reason (25th in points allowed, 12 INT's, 30 Sacks). They did add DT Eric Swann and CB Daryll Lewis in the draft, but they will take some time to contribute. 6-10 looks like the verdict, and it looks like John Robinson will be gone after that.

NFC Champ: Eagles

SB XXVI Champs: Bills
 
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1991 SEASON

AFC EAST:
Goes pretty much the same in OTL. The Bills go 13-3 and get the one-seed. The Jets and Dolphins both finish 8-8, with the Pats at 6-10, and the Colts at 1-15 (Ron Meyer was fired, replaced by Rick Venturi, and Venturi was let go. A new HC will be named).
AFC CENTRAL: The Oilers and Steelers both finish at 11-5, with the Oilers winning the AFC Central (due to season sweep). The Steelers started 3-5, but went on an eight-game winning streak to make the playoffs. The Browns and Bengals do the same as in OTL (6-10 and 3-13).
AFC WEST: The Raiders and Broncos tie for the AFC West lead at 11-5, with the Raiders getting the division crown on a season sweep. Kansas City and San Diego both finish at 9-7 (With KC getting the 6-seed based on a better division record). Seattle brings up the rear at 6-10.

AFC PLAYOFFS

WILD CARD:
L.A. Raiders 28, Kansas City 13
Pittsburgh 24, Denver 17
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS: Houston 24, L.A. Raiders 20
Buffalo 31, Pittsburgh 21
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Buffalo 21, Houston 17

NFC EAST: The Redskins come out and have the same season as OTL, going 14-2. The Eagles, who have Randall in this world (they open with a different schedule than in OTL since they finish third in 1990 instead of second), go 12-4 and get the first Wild Card. The Giants, under first-year HC Ray Handley, go 8-8 as in OTL. Dallas, however, is headed in a different direction. Timm Rosenbach, their young QB, got hurt against the Eagles in Week 3 and missed eight weeks. Steve Beuerlein (who they picked up from the Raiders) did OK, but not great, and they gave the ball back to Rosenbach for the remaining few weeks. Rosenbach, who said that the NFL isn't as fun as college, is having doubts about coming back. If he doesn't, Jimmy Johnson has a problem (Dallas finished 7-9). Meanwhile, the Cardinals decided to trade for Indy's Chris Chandler, giving them their first-round pick. However, they played Walsh and Tupa that year (they will save Chandler for next year). They finished 6-10, leading to the firing of coach Fritz Shurmur. Deion Sanders also wants out. He wants to be traded to a contender.
NFC CENTRAL: The Packers take their second straight division title with an 11-5 record in the Aikman-Emmitt era. The Vikings do surprise, going 10-6 in Dennis Green and Buddy Ryan's first year with the team. The Bears end up at 9-7, with their offense holding them back. Tampa gets another stellar year out of Barry Sanders, but the defense (and an inconsistent Vinny) puts them at 6-10 (Richard Williamson loses his job at the end). The Lions bring up the rear at 5-11, although World League vet QB Erik Kramer shows promise in his last four starts, going 3-1. Wayne Fontes is on the hot seat in Detroit.
NFC WEST: Geaux Saints! For the first time ever, the Saints win the NFC West with a 12-4 record. Led by a defense LB'ed by the Dome Patrol, the Saints allow the fewest points in the league. And, Bobby Hebert returns to lead an improve offense that is opened up by rookie WR Alvin Harper and young RB Aaron Craver. In SF, Bono ends up starting 13 games (with three starts for young Bill Musgrave) as Montana's elbow surgery in October forces him to miss the season. As as result, the 49ers go 8-8. The Falcons show signs of life with a 7-9 record. Rookie RB Leonard Russell rushes for 1,100 yards, and Chris Miller has a good season with 25 TD's and over 3,000 yards passing. The Rams do about as expected, going 4-12. John Robinson is fired at the end of the season.

NFC PLAYOFFS

WILD CARD:
Packers 24, Bears 14
Eagles 21, Vikings 7
DIVISIONAL ROUND: Redskins 17, Eagles 13
Saints 21, Packers 17
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Redskins 24, Saints 14

SUPER BOWL XXVI: The Bills, with the confidence of the defending champs in this world, play much better than they did against the Skins in OTL. However, 1991 was Washington's year. Redskins 31, Bills 24.

FIRED COACHES: Rick Venturi (Indianapolis), Fritz Shurmur (Arizona), Richard Williamson (Tampa Bay), John Robinson (L.A. Rams)

Word on the Chucks

In Seattle, Chuck Knox decided to resign as coach of the Seahawks. During his tenure, they went to the playoffs four times, with the high point being his first year there and a trip to the AFC Championship Game.

In Pittsburgh, Chuck Noll decided that he would coach two more years, and then hang it up after the 1993 season.
 
1992 NFL Draft order

1. Indianapolis
2. Cincinnati
3. L.A. Rams
4. Detroit
5. New England
6. Tampa Bay
7. Cleveland
8. Seattle
9. Indianapolis (from PHX)
10. Atlanta
11. Dallas
12. N.Y. Jets
13. Miami
14. San Francisco
15. N.Y. Giants
16. Chicago
17. Washington (from SD)
18. Kansas City
19. Dallas (from MIN)
20. Green Bay
21. Denver
22. San Diego (from HOU)
23. Pittsburgh
24. L.A. Raiders
25. New Orleans
26. Philadelphia
27. Buffalo
28. Washington

RUMOR MILL

1.
Deion Sanders could be traded, possibly to the Falcons, Cowboys, or the Dolphins, per source. He is disenchanted with the Cardinals and their losing attitude.
2. The Redskins have the 17th and 28th picks in the upcoming draft, and could package those to move up for Desmond Howard.
 
Love this! Nice to see some NFL threads on here finally..

How's the expansion progress going in this world? I know the Panthers group submitted their application to the league in 1991. Hope they make it through in this TL it'd be fun to see how Carolina goes with someone else starting at HC..
 
Love this! Nice to see some NFL threads on here finally..

How's the expansion progress going in this world? I know the Panthers group submitted their application to the league in 1991. Hope they make it through in this TL it'd be fun to see how Carolina goes with someone else starting at HC..

Probably about the same because labor issues in 92 (like FA) will delay it until the Fall of 93 as in reality. Also, Kraft will still get the Pats, but who knows if Bledsoe will still be their QB (probably).
 
COACHING CAROUSEL

The Rams have selected Chuck Knox (Ram HC from 1973-77) as John Robinson's replacement.

After talking to Buddy Ryan and Bill Parcells, the Bucs decided on Sam Wyche to be their new HC. Buddy wasn't left out, though, because he will be the new HC in Phoenix.

In Indianapolis, they also decided to go the Back To The Future route, hiring Ted Marchibroda to replace Rick Venturi.

Also, in Seattle, Tom Flores will come down from his GM role and make a return to the sidelines with Seattle.
 
DEION Rumor: It seems to me that he wants to go to the Dolphins the most because they have Dan Marino. Dallas has two first-rounders, but they also have a QB situation that is up in the air. Atlanta is his second choice because he likes the city, and they are an up and coming team. They have their first along with two seconds (the other coming from Dallas in the Tony Casillas trade). Right now, I would say that the Falcons are the favorites, unless another team comes into the fold.
 
Breaking News: There is a new team that has joined the Deion sweepstakes: The World Champion Redskins. They were thinking about trading up for Desmond Howard, but they may send their two first-rounders and CB Martin Mayhew to the Cardinals for Deion.
 
I see the presence of Prime Time leading to two extra wins in OTL (against the Redskins in Week 5 and the Raiders in Week 14) and a 7-9 record.
As good as Prime Time was, and he is arguably in the top 5 all time NFL players, no CB is worth 2 wins. Brady is only worth three.

Barry Sanders ends up with Rookie of the Year, and helps guide the Bucs improve three wins to 8-8 (their first non-losing year in seven years).
Same problem here. Running backs just aren't worth three wins, even in the much more run friendly era that Sanders played in. They might improve by one win with another being a coin flip.
 
As good as Prime Time was, and he is arguably in the top 5 all time NFL players, no CB is worth 2 wins. Brady is only worth three.
The 1993 49ers were 10-6. In 1994, they were 14-2 with Deion. The next year, they were 11-5. Now, losing Ricky Watters didn't help, either, but Prime Time's absence had a lot to do with that.

Same problem here. Running backs just aren't worth three wins, even in the much more run friendly era that Sanders played in. They might improve by one win with another being a coin flip.

The 1988 Lions were last in scoring and last in yards gained while going 4-12. In 1989, Barry Sanders was the only significant addition that they had. With Barry, they end up improving three games to 7-9. They improved from 28th to 19th in points scored, and 28th to 18th in yards gained (despite not even having respectable QB play).
 
The 1993 49ers were 10-6. In 1994, they were 14-2 with Deion. The next year, they were 11-5. Now, losing Ricky Watters didn't help, either, but Prime Time's absence had a lot to do with that.
In 1994, the 49er had eleven All Pro players and Steve Young playing out of his mind setting NFL passing records and winning the MVP. In 1995, they STILL had the number one defense in the league with an All Pro CB in Eric Davis. Compare that to 1993 when they "only" had 5 All Pros and 1995 when they had "only" 7. There is a lot more going on there than just a single player joining or leaving a team.


The 1988 Lions were last in scoring and last in yards gained while going 4-12. In 1989, Barry Sanders was the only significant addition that they had. With Barry, they end up improving three games to 7-9. They improved from 28th to 19th in points scored, and 28th to 18th in yards gained (despite not even having respectable QB play).
The 1988 Lions team is a historical outlier in that it was the 2nd worst offense in NFL history since going to a 16 game schedule and was the worst offense of any team in the 1980s. There was literally nowhere for them to go but up.
 
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