Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby rhickok1109 » Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:38 am

7DnBrnc53 wrote:
The Rams pick John Arnett makes sense -- USC star playing in LA....he wasn't an all-time great like Jim Brown but was a very good player. Remember, a lot of teams picked regional college stars back then. The Packers picked stars from Notre Dame and Michigan with their two picks before Cleveland. Remember, teams were often thinking in terms of attendance in those days and college football was still more popular than pro football in terms of drawing crowds.


Good point. Also, the NFL wasn't the only sport doing that. The NBA's Cincinnati Royals were able to draft Oscar Robertson with a territorial pick (I think they also got Jerry Lucas the same way). Also, the Canadiens seemed to get the best French-Canadian guys for years.

The NBA's territorial pick was commonly used to pick very good players that the team wouldn't have been able to get otherwise because of their position in the draft. Of 23 territorial picks, 12 are in the Basketball HOF, so it really wasn't used to get regional stars who would be popular with local fans.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Brian wolf » Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:25 am

Speaking of territorial picks, I am still surprised that the Baltimore Colts didnt select Roger Staubach in the 1964 draft. Yes, five years for a player is a long time to wait but with Unitas still on top of his game, maybe Shula and Kellet the GM, didnt feel Roger could help the team even when he joined ? Of course, hindsight always begs to differ, yet with the Colts being a salt of the earth type team, maybe they felt Staubach was too pious and squeaky-clean to fit into their squad. Had Staubach been signed, waited his turn by 69-70, could he have won over the veterans --including Unitas-- and led them to victory, perhaps keeping Rosenbloom from trading the team ?

The KC Chiefs also drafted Roger but not till the 16th round.
Could Roger had signed with the Chiefs had they drafted him way earlier ? Of course the Cowboys get him but in 1964, despite drafting three future HOF players in Hayes, Renfro and Staubach, its the HOF player that got away --Paul Warfield-- that continues to haunt former head scout Gil Brandt to this day and bothered Schramm as well. Brandt thought the Cowboys were going to take him 4th overrall but the team changed its mind to trade with the Steelers for WR Buddy Dial, while sending the Steelers the draft rights to Scott Appleton, who signed with the AFL instead. Dial went from a potential HOF career to getting injured and disfavored in Dallas. A terrible trade that seemed good at the time.

Also in 1964, RB Leroy Kelly became an 8th round draft pick for the Cleveland Browns, who selected Warfield 1st ... How in the hell does all those teams pass on a future HOF back like Kelly ? ... I guess coming from a black college, alot of scouts somehow missed his talent.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:04 pm

Nobody in the AFL picked Kelly, so you can add all those teams to the list of teams that missed out. Morgan State is in Baltimore and the Colts must have scouted HBCUs in 1964 because they drafted Alvin Hammond from Southern that year. It would be interesting to find out why Kelly was missed.

Staubach with the Cowboys was a good fit. Coach Landry mentioned in his autobiography that he felt good about picking Staubach because Landry himself served in the military. In his last draft, Landry picked Chad Hennings, who also had a military commitment.

The Browns apparently selected Warfield as a DB. When I got to interview Dub Jones, he said that during camp he noticed that Warfield would probably help the Browns more on offense. He discussed moving Warfield to offense with Howard Brinker, a Browns assistant. Brinker agreed and they both approached Blanton Collier with the idea.

I guess that's maybe kind of a found opportunity with Warfield.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Jay Z » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:16 am

Brian wolf wrote:Also in 1964, RB Leroy Kelly became an 8th round draft pick for the Cleveland Browns, who selected Warfield 1st ... How in the hell does all those teams pass on a future HOF back like Kelly ? ... I guess coming from a black college, alot of scouts somehow missed his talent.


From press reports, sounds like Kelly wasn't the leading rusher for Morgan State his senior year, Ollie Dobbins was. Kelly was more of an all around back. Dobbins wound up going to the Bills, where he played one season. There was a lot of debate where Kelly was going to play, RB, receiver, defense.

The historically black schools were just starting to get a little better draft attention at that time. Chuck Hinton, the Chuck Hinton that was a DT for the Steelers, was picked in the 2nd round that year. But 8th round was more common for anyone drafted from one of those schools.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:23 am

With his smoothness and skill set, Warfield could have been a successful DB like Jim Johnson but Jones thought he caught the ball well.

The Redskins, like the Colts could have had Staubach as well. Imagine Lombardi or Allen coaching him ? I believe Allen would have chosen him over Sonny with his mobility and let him call his own plays but in 1964 the Skins went with QB Dick Shiner in the 7th Rd ...
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Jay Z » Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:01 am

Brian wolf wrote:With his smoothness and skill set, Warfield could have been a successful DB like Jim Johnson but Jones thought he caught the ball well.

The Redskins, like the Colts could have had Staubach as well. Imagine Lombardi or Allen coaching him ? I believe Allen would have chosen him over Sonny with his mobility and let him call his own plays but in 1964 the Skins went with QB Dick Shiner in the 7th Rd ...


Staubach never gets off the bench with Allen.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:31 pm

Jay Z wrote:
Brian wolf wrote:With his smoothness and skill set, Warfield could have been a successful DB like Jim Johnson but Jones thought he caught the ball well.

The Redskins, like the Colts could have had Staubach as well. Imagine Lombardi or Allen coaching him ? I believe Allen would have chosen him over Sonny with his mobility and let him call his own plays but in 1964 the Skins went with QB Dick Shiner in the 7th Rd ...


Staubach never gets off the bench with Allen.


Probably not. Allen seems to me like another Buddy Ryan (just keep the offense conservative and out of the way of my defense). That strategy, and his over-utilization of vets at the expense of draft picks, was his death knell. Not the type of coach I would hire in the pros.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:42 pm

I thought Allen was effective in that role 7D but his teams just petered out at the end of the seasons. With Sonny aging,and Kilmer being more of a dink, ball control QB, I believe Staubach would have impressed Allen enough in training camp, practices, Jay Z, to take the starting job.
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Brian wolf » Tue Dec 07, 2021 7:18 pm

Great call on SB 14, Teo ...

I just watched a replay of that game and if Cromwell intercepts and scores, it might have been all over but how do you let Stallworth catch deep passes on you twice ?

Though Ferragamo showed poise until that interception to Lambert, maybe if Cromwell scores, the team could have let Tyler, Bryant and McCutcheon run the ball the rest of the game. McCutcheon really wanted that SB and would be in the HOF like Foreman of the Vikes had it not been for injuries ...
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Re: Missed Opportunities That Could Have Altered NFL History

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:25 pm

The legacy of QB Joe Montana could have taken a major hit had the Bengals taken advantage of opportunities in both SB games against SF ...

In the 81/82 SB, The Bengals had two golden chances to score TDs from the SF five yard line in the first and second quarter. After getting a first and goal at the SF five, with a chance to score first, QB Ken Anderson threw an interception to safety Dwight Hicks a few plays later ending the threat after the Bengals had drove down the field after recovering a SF fumble on the kickoff. In the second quarter, Anderson completed a pass to WR Collinsworth that would have given them another first and goal at the five yard line but CB Eric Wright of the Niners stripped Collinsworth who fumbled the ball. These turnovers helped SF shut out the Bengals 20-0 at halftime, though the Bengals rallied in the second half before losing 26-21.

In the 88/89 SB, the Bengals led 13-6 going into the fourth quarter with Montana driving the team down the field to try to tie the score. Montana threw a bad pass into the endzone that went right into the hands of DB Lewis Billups, who dropped the ball ... Montana hit Rice on the very next play for a 14 yrd TD that tied the score. Had Billups intercepted, the Bengals probably would have tried to continue to pound the ball with Woods and Brooks, though RB Stanley Wilson, who could have contributed, missed the game after binging on cocaine the night before. With Esiason having a bad elbow, the team had to find a way to force turnovers but missed out on another opportunity later in the game when John Taylor fumbed on a punt return but the ball was recovered by another 49er.

Had the Bengals won these two SBs, players Anderson, Riley, Brooks and potentially Curtis, might have made the HOF ...
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