What if Bill Belichick hadn't scribbled his resignation on a napkin and remained the head coach of the New York Jets?
New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro explores that daydream with the Jets about to play the New England Patriots in the playoffs.
The Jets and Patriots form one of the NFL's most intense rivalries, and Belichick's stunning decision to jilt the Jets is a prominent reason.
Belichick was supposed to succeed Bill Parcells as head coach 11 years ago last week, but his introductory news conference turned into a resignation. He joined the Patriots quickly thereafter.
The underlying, overriding issue was always the looming specter of Parcells. By the time Belichick held his "Blair Witch" press conference, he had clearly grown tired of his Parcellian link. Eleven years later, we know why: Parcells has never been to a Super Bowl without Belichick; Belichick has won three without Parcells. But in 2000, that notion would've seemed ludicrous. He had to strike out on his own.
Vaccaro notes Belichick's staff would have been in place with the Jets. Assistant coaches Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Al Groh and Eric Mangini followed him from the Jets to the Patriots. So did personnel executive Scott Pioli.
That's quite an infrastructure the Jets would've had in place.
But would the Jets have had the fortune of drafting Tom Brady?
The Patriots selected him 199th overall in 2000. The Jets had four first-round picks that year. They had three choices between the third and sixth rounds and another in the 218th slot. Based on Brady's profile leaving Michigan, there's a good chance he still would have been on the board then.
What do you think would have happened?