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Old 07-19-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
Posterize246
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Default Who are the greatest "what if?" players

These are the guys who were headed for greatness but were stopped maybe by injury, trouble with the law, or just being a flat out knucklehead. For example, Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill are often viewed as the "what if" guys of the NBA. I'll start with this guy...



- A 6th round pick who was the opening day starter as a rookie.
- Broncos all time leader in rushing yards.
- 1 time NFL rushing leader
- 3 years straight AFC rushing leader
- In Super Bowl XXXII he had 157 yards and 3 TD's, first to ever have 3 rushing TD's in the Super Bowl. Didn't even play the 2nd quarter.
- In Super Bowl XXXIII he had 102 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving.
- Super Bowl MVP award
- 1 time NFL MVP
- 2 time AP offensive player of the year
- 21 TD season

Why he's a what if guy?
- Never played more than 8 games in a season after age 26
- Only 17 total games played ages 27-29
- Tore his ACL and MCL in '99
- Stress reaction injury in leg in '00
- Arthroscopic surgery on both knees in '01

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwRvm9wa0RU
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

I'll list the biggest WHAT IF player ever, IMO:


Lawrence Phillips

He was a huge disappointment. MANY considered him to be one of the best RBs ever. I'm sure the Steelers are thankful for him b/c after the Rams drafted Phillips, they immediately traded Bettis to Pitt.

Phillips has had soooo many off the field problems. He's also the guy who missed the block on Aeneas Williams that ended Steve Young's career.

All that God-given talent, yet he is, and has been, rotting in jail.


Another WHAT IF player or two:
Bo Jackson - Could you imagine how great he would've been had he not split his time playing baseball as well? Maybe top 5 RB ever.

Mike Vick - This one is obvious. Although I was never a Vick believer, you can't lie about what he did for the Falcons his first few seasons. Had he never gotten into his many off the field troubles, there's no telling what the NFL would look like today.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

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Old 07-19-2010, 05:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

thread title made me think Bo Jackson...first name that entered my head



you know who the greatest "what if" player is?

Barry Sanders

greatest quitter of all time...

"what if" he actually liked playing football?...he might have broke the record?...or he might have started a feirce slump...or he might have gotten injured like Bo...we will never know what could have been...



how about Ki-Jana Carter?


edit: Irvin too could be seen as a "what-if" I suppose...

Last edited by -playmaker- : 07-19-2010 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Sterling Sharpe. If his career wasn't ended by a neck injury so soon, IMO he would have been considered one of the best receivers of all time.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Almost everything that been said here is good anwsers. What about some draft busts since Lawernce Phillips has been said.


http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...tbs%3Disch: 1


Brian Bosworth: Was hype when he was coming to the NFL. Had a great college career and went downhill when playing in the NFL. Here is his awards from his NCAA year


2x Dick Butkus Award winner (1985, 1986)
2x First-team All American (1985, 1986)
Academic All-America Team (1986)
3x All Big 8 Conference Team (1984, 1985, 1986)


Then look at what his entire NFL carrer looks like.


Career NFL statistics as of 1989
Games Played 24
Sacks 4.0
Fumble Recoveries 3
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Bo Jackson

JaMarcus Russell? lol
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Russell isn't a WHAT IF player, he's just a bust. He should never have been taken no. 1 overall. He wasn't even considered the top pick til after the College bowl season was over, then all of a sudden he was the next great QB.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Quote:
Originally Posted by MK2V1GP
Russell isn't a WHAT IF player, he's just a bust. He should never have been taken no. 1 overall. He wasn't even considered the top pick til after the College bowl season was over, then all of a sudden he was the next great QB.

He wasn't that good and people hype him too much. You hit the nail on this one.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players



Ke-jana carter
Tore his ACL in his first pre-season game.. Awful start and that injury just sealed his fate imo..
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:06 PM   #11
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Quote:
Originally Posted by MK2V1GP
Russell isn't a WHAT IF player

Maybe he meant it as in 'what if he didn't suck'.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackass18

Ronnie Lott, Sean Taylor and Ed Reed would be known as the best safeties to ever play.....


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Old 07-26-2010, 08:34 PM   #14
clipse026
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

How about Robert Edwards?


Good career at Georgia. Got picked in the 1st by New England in '98. He ran for 1,115 yards as a rookie and then blew out his knee at a rookie flag football game in Hawaii. They even thought he may never walk again it was so bad.
Then he made a short comeback in '02 with the Dolphins. I know it was pretty awesome to see him on the field. His 1st game back he had 2 touchdowns.
I think he also got the Halas Award for the comeback.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who are the greatest "what if?" players

Rarely mentioned:

Kevin Smith of the Cowboys. One of the CB's in the NFL before he blew out his knee and it was the same year Deion joined the team. Imagine those two guys paired up.
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