Forget Misery! Alternate Buffalo Bills timeline ends the curse and brings glory

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What could have been for the Buffalo Bills from 2000-2002

2000: The next season after the playoff loss to the Titans the Bills stayed consistent to who they were and finished 8-8. The Bills missed the playoffs which spelled the end for head coach Wade Phillips. The search was on for a new coach and there were some good candidates. the Bills in reality chose Gregg Williams. Bounties aside, He made the defense pretty good but his tough guy act wore thin and was fired after 3 seasons. In this scenario the Bills did an extensive search for a new head coach and GM Tom Donahoe made a decision that would alter the course of his career.

2001: The Bills hire Marvin Lewis as head coach. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator had just won a Superbowl with a historic defense. Tom Donahoe and Marvin Lewis also share a Pittsburgh Steelers connection so there is some familiarity with the two. Now the overhaul begins. Rob Johnson is out as starting QB and in the 2001 NFL Draft the Bills select Purdue QB Drew Brees 21st overall. Now that the Bills have their franchise quarterback, Marvin Lewis has to build up his defense.

In the 2001 NFL Draft, Lewis drafts TCU DE Aaron Schobel in the second round with the 46th overall pick and the 58th overall pick the Bills select S Adrian Wilson. In the third round at 76th overall, RB Rudi Johnson is chosen to share the backfield with Sammy Morris. It all culminates in a 7-9 season.

2002: Marvin Lewis’ influence is felt when the Bills sign LB London Fletcher and in the 2002 NFL Draft the Bills take Miami Hurricane T Bryant McKinnie. In the 2nd round the Bills take a chance on troubled WR Antonio Bryant. Marvin Lewis is to his players like Robert Redford was in the Horse Whisperer. The pick pays off when he becomes the playmaker the team needs and stays out of trouble (for the most part). In this scenario Drew Brees is on the team so the Bills don’t trade for QB Drew Bledsoe. The Bills are showing signs of improvement finishing 9-7 and just missing the playoffs.