@ChiefMN , actually Ford has shown flashes in his limited playing time, so I wouldn't rule him out, just yet, as he could blossom in year 3. And, I also wouldn't rule out Ramik Wilson or DJ Alexander (both can run and hit like a ton of bricks) as ILB candidates, either.
That said, I 'll always take an off-the edge pass-rusher, and not knowing if CB Sean Smith will be back, as well as Phillip Gaines status, I'd gladly take another CB, as well.
The premise: Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Patriots open the 2013 season with a blowout win. Unfortunately, they get into trouble for Spygate II. As punishment, Roger Goodell orders the Patriots to fire Bill Belichick and replace him with Emmitt Smith.
This is a weekly feature that will take a newspaper reporter's perspective and follow the 2013 New England Patriots as they traverse the 2013 NFL season under Emmitt's guidance. This page will be updated every Thursday during the real 2008 NFL season.
Emmitt Smith name head coach of the New England Patriots in 2013!
PATRIOTS ESCAPE WITH 7-2 WIN; BENGALS FLEE STADIUM
By Steve Sanders, Boston Beat Senior Writer Monday, Sept. 23, 2013
It seemed like any ordinary Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The fans were tailgating. Owner Mike Brown was scheming for world domination. And the police offers were patrolling the field, concourses and stadium perimeter to make sure none of the Bengals would flee the area.
But at 12:05 Eastern, the unimaginable occurred. The alarms sounded. The Bengals were escaping.
While many of the Cincinnati players made it out of the stadium - they crawled across a wire attached from the infirmary to the outer wall - two members of the squad didn't quite make it. Running back Laurence Maroney decided that it would take too much of an effort to crawl across the wire, so he let go halfway through, hit the ground and took a nap before the guards found him. When Maroney fell, the wire snapped, trapping Chad Future Hall of Fame Class Of 20?? Wide Receiver in the infirmary. Both were forced to address the media after their failed escape.
"I wanted to escape and it's not fair I didn't get to," Maroney sobbed. "I didn't want to play hard in New England. They told me I didn't have to try in Cincinnati because no one else does, so I was happy to get traded here. But Marvin Lewis told me otherwise! I just want to collect checks and sleep all day!"
Maroney then fell asleep at the microphone, but Future Hall of Fame Class Of 20?? Wide Receiver told the media that Carson Palmer masterminded the escape. Palmer apparently tattooed the design of Paul Brown Stadium onto his body. He was able to gain access to the owner's office, which was right across the hall from the infirmary, by convincing Mike Brown that he was capable of building a ray gun that would make the Bengals' boss the most powerful man in the world.
"Carson's a smart guy, but he don't know nothing about building ray guns," Future Hall of Fame Class Of 20?? Wide Receiver said. "Actually, he took my Super Soaker and painted it black. Mr. Brown is so out of touch with reality, he's never heard of Super Soakers, so he really thought it was a ray gun. What an idiot!"
Unfortunately, the press conference concluded prematurely. When asked how he felt about being trapped in Paul Brown Stadium while his other teammates were enjoying the free world, Future Hall of Fame Class Of 20?? Wide Receiver, formerly known as Chad Johnson, Chad Ocho Cinco, Chad Huit Cinq and Chad Awesome, broke down and cried.
"We don't want to play football anymore!" Future Hall of Fame Class Of 20?? Wide Receiver shouted. "Stop forcing us!"
Meanwhile, the Patriots were enjoying the prospect of an unceremonious bye week until Roger Goodell ordered that they had to play, regardless of the fact that there wouldn't be anyone else on the field.
"I did not find these fairs," Emmitt said. "With almost zero player on the field, how can Cleveland have a chance to win at uhh... Cleveland Browns Stadium?"
The Patriots won the coin toss and chose to receive. However, they faced the same problems they had against the Falcons last week. Emmitt simply couldn't get the plays in to Tom Brady though his headset.
"My assistance coaches tolded me last week that we have to plug the wires into the holes in the outline," Emmitt said. "But Cleveland Browns stadium do not have the outline so they do not has the holes."
New England obtained possession on Cincinnati's 30 because the Bengals didn't have anyone who could kick the ball off. However, the Patriots were whistled for 13 consecutive delay-of-game penalties, moving them back to their own 5. When Tom Brady finally decided to call his own play, he dropped back in the pocket. Unfortunately, Brady was so excited at the prospect of having wide-open receivers to throw to, he tripped over his own feet and fumbled the ball out of the end zone.
But a 2-0 deficit wasn't New England's greatest concern - Brady re-tore the same ACL he injured in 2008. Brady expressed his frustration.
"This really sucks," Brady vented after the 7-2 victory. "The last time I had surgery on my knee, I had trouble walking around, so I couldn't go out with five or 10 women like I do every night. This is going to kill my personal life."
Emmitt, meanwhile, discussed a potential replacement for Brady.
"The last time Tom Brady have a torn CPU we have Matt Castill... Columb... Carte... Gordon play good," Emmitt said. "Now, he is the quarterback of Seattle. Our number second quarterback is Kevin O'Donnell. We will also trade for a new quarterback from somewhere in the National Football Conference League."
So, let's recap: No Belichick. No Brady. A new quarterback from somewhere in the National Football Conference League - wherever that is. I don't think this is how Patriots fans imagined that their 2013 season would play out. But no one's complaining about the 3-0 result thus far.
ANTHONY MORELLI NAMED PATRIOTS' STARTING QUARTERBACK
By Steve Sanders, Boston Beat Senior Writer Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
While many experts assumed that Kevin O'Connell would step in for Tom Brady in the wake of the future Hall-of-Famer's torn ACL, Emmitt Smith apparently had something else in mind. Twenty-four hours after arriving in Foxboro, Anthony Morelli was named the starting quarterback of the Patriots.
New England obtained Morelli from the Arizona Cardinals on Monday afternoon, surrendering 10 bricks, five lizard eggs, 15 tree branches and two iron ores. No one's really sure what Bill Bidwill plans to do with these obscure items, though there is some speculation that he could sell them on eBay to World of Warcraft nerds for a net of $750,000. Hey, there's a reason Bidwill is known as the cheapest owner in the NFL. Remember, Bidwill intentionally sabotaged Arizona's 2008 season when he decided that not making the playoffs would produce more revenue for him in the long run. Despite the Cardinals' 9-5 record after Week 15, Bidwill forfeited the final two games of the year.
Meanwhile, Emmitt explained his infatuation with Morelli.
"Do not listen to me. Listen to a quote I founded on WalterFootball.coms," Emmitt said. "The arthur of these Internet said Anthony Moreland have a golden arm but a brick for a brain. I consider these positivity. Gold is more value than silver and copper. And a brick is strong and sturdy so Anthony Moreland have a strong mind and a sturdy brains, so to speak. He can be the leader of the New Zealand Patriots football team."
With Emmitt's praise of Morelli, Boston natives were excited to meet their new signal caller. That feeling quickly subsided during Morelli's press conference, as it seemed like he couldn't answer any of the questions without the help of his translator.
When asked if he was ready to take over as the starting quarterback in New England, Morelli replied, "Uhh... uhh... eh, yo... uhh..."
When asked how quickly he thought he could pick up the new offense, Morelli answered, "Eh, yo... haha... eh, yo..."
When asked to talk about his experience as Penn State's starting quarterback in 2006 and 2007, Morelli responded, "Uhh... eh, yo... uhh... yo..."
As the media members, including myself, were beginning to murmuer about Morelli's supposed intelligence that Emmitt bragged about, Morelli's interpretor, better known as his wife of four years, interjected and began fielding questions.
"Anthony's definitely ready to be the starting quarterback," Morelli's wife said. "When we were at Penn State, I made sure he got to Beaver Stadium on time and sober. I couldn't do so on the road, which is why he sometimes showed up drunk and disoriented. But now that we're married and the NFL allows me to travel with the team, I can make sure he's not barfing all over the locker room and stuff."
So, New England's quarterback will be focused enough to drive. That's great news. But can he learn the playbook quickly enough for Sunday's game against Detroit?"
"Yeah, Anthony will learn the playbook - I'll make sure of that," Morelli's wife declared. "At Penn State, I did all of his homework and took his tests so he could concentrate on football. Thank God he majored in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, and not Physics or Computer Science, or anything like that. Oh, but I was happy to do all of his work; finding the price of cotton candy and corn dogs was pretty fun, actually, but a bit too difficult for Ant."
Let's hope learning the Patriots' playbook is fun too. Looks like Morelli is going to need all the help he can get.