Gameplan: No MJD

I was thinking about the gameplan that was used on Sunday against the Panthers, and it occurred to me that I was taking MJD's contributions to this offense for granted.  We just assume that he will be there every Sunday, pounding through the opposing team's defense.  Even though most of us thought that the run, run, run gameplan was boring and/or conservative, the game could have been a lot worse if MJD wasn't racking up yards...or would it?

How would our season look if we didn't have MJD on the team?  What if we didn't draft him at all?

Would it have changed our drafting strategy in the past few years?  Would we have given up on Garrard earlier?  Would we have had a worse record in the the past few seasons, resulting in higher draft picks and more playmakers?

I'm a big fan of MJD, and he's obviously our best player on offense right now, but I just think this scenario is interesting to think about.

If we didn't have as strong of a running game after Freddy T, maybe we would have built toward a passing centered offense.  Maybe we would have lost a few more games in 2006, and picked up Darrelle Revis or Patrick Willis instead of Reggie Nelson in 2007.  As food for thought, here are some of the players who were drafted somewhat close to our draft positions:


Draft Order Player Selected
42 Danieal Manning
43 Roman Harper
50 Marcus McNeill
52 Greg Jennings



Draft Order Player Selected
11 Patrick Willis
14 Darrelle Revis
37 Eric Weddle
44 Sidney Rice



Draft Order Player Selected
12 Ryan Clady
16 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
49 DeSean Jackson
55 Ray Rice


Obviously, I picked the "hits" as examples instead of the "busts". We could have ended up with Vernon Gholston or Jarvis Moss (or Reggie Nelson or Derrick Harvey).  I just think it's interesting to look back and see some of the names that were being mentioned in free agency this year as players who we were interested in, who may have been available close to the position that we could have drafted in if we had done a little worse in 06, 07, and 08.

I think that we probably would have drafted a new quarterback earlier than we did (maybe Flacco?).  Our running game would have become anemic as we tried to squeeze a few more years out of Fred Taylor, but our secondary might have gotten a little better.

Please keep in mind that these questions are posed just to make you think about the scenario.  I'm not saying that I wish MJD wasn't drafted, or that I wish we would have drafted someone else.  I just find it amazing how much MJD has affected the direction and success of the franchise all by himself.

How do you think the team would have changed?

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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