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. Two years later, the Patriots are coming off the first 19-0 season in NFL history.
This is a weekly feature that will take a newspaper reporter's perspective and follow the 2015 New England Patriots as they traverse the 2015 NFL season under Emmitt's guidance. This page will be updated every Saturday during the real 2010 NFL season.
Emmitt Smith name head coach of the New Zealand Patriots on 2015!
PATRIOTS KICK OFF 2015 SEASON AGAINST DOLPHINS
By Alex Rodriguez, Special to the NFL Bible Network Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015
Expectations have never been higher in New England. After all, the Patriots are coming off the first 19-0 season in NFL history. Despite Emmitt Smith being the head coach and an inebriated Anthony Morelli handling the snaps all year, New England was flawless. The question now: Can they do it again?
"Winnin' the game last year gave us a lot of confidence, and it even gave us confidence in our own confidence," Emmitt said. "But sometime, all good thing must come to a close. Not every game this year will be like shootin' barrel in a fish. We bound to have some losts this year. Maybe even a couple losts."
Morelli, meanwhile, attempted to offer his own prediction, but failed miserably in the process of forming a coherent thought.
One man in particular is feeling the pressure. With former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels working with the original Tim Tebow on a side project - they would not reveal the details yet - Eric Mangini has been hired as a replacement. Mangini, who coached the Jets, Browns and Jets again for several years, has a defensive background, but was more than willing to take the offer to coach an offense for the first time in his career.
"I don't know the first thing about offense," Mangini admitted. "But this was an opportunity of a lifetime, except for the fact that my mom is making Shannon Sharpe work with me again. I've given Shannon the title of 'Assistant to the Offensive Coordinator.' He was pretty happy about that."
So, why did Mangini opt to become New England's offensive coordinator? His answer wasn't what you'd expect, unless, of course, you happen to know him very well.
"According to MapQuest, I'll be two hours and 11 minutes away from Bristol, Conn., which is where my almost girlfriend Erin Andrews works. We talked online last night for 35 minutes, and she only took an average of three minutes and 31 seconds to answer my IMs. But I'm not counting the last 15 minutes when she didn't answer because I bet she was kicked offline."
Mangini revealed that he plans to meet Andrews on Thursday afternoon prior to the season opener against the Dolphins.
"Erin Andrews picks up her step-brother Robby at 3:15 from school on Thursdays, so what I can do is leave practice at 1 p.m., drive to Bristol, see Erin Andrews, and come back here by 6 o'clock. I'll be right on time for the game!"
Emmitt was not pleased with his new coordinator's day trip.
"We hire Eric Mangenius because we thought he could give a big contribulation to the offense," Emmitt said. "Now, he drivin' down to Brissmus to see his ex-girlfriend. These are not the type of dedictions I would expect from a man who call himselves Mangenius."
After Emmitt and Mangini discussed it, however, Mangini was granted the opportunity to drive to Bristol.
"I told Emmitt that Erin Andrews is my almost girlfriend, and that I love her," Mangini said. "I even brought my Teddy Ruxpin binoculars so I can see her from a distance. Oh man, I wish I was allowed to talk to her in person!"
PATRIOTS BLAST DOLPHINS WITHOUT MANGINI
By Alex Rodriguez, Special to the NFL Bible Network Friday, Sept. 11, 2015
As it turns out, the Patriots don't need an offensive coordinator to win a football game.
Eric Mangini, who promised to return to Foxborough by 6 p.m. - two-and-a-half hours prior to kickoff - failed to make it back on time. His excuse - he was arrested outside of Richard M. Nixon Elementary and Middle School.
"They said I was stalking Erin Andrews!" Mangini whined after Robert Kraft bailed him out of jail. "Here's what happened, I was looking at her from behind the bushes with my Teddy Ruxpin binoculars, and she saw me and pointed to me. I think she was excited to see me! But then, some cops came, put me in handcuffs and dragged me off to jail. They told me to stop stalking Erin Andrews. I tried to tell them that I was her almost boyfriend, but they just laughed at me."
Kraft was very displeased that he had to drive all the way to Bristol, Conn. to bail his offensive coordinator out of jail.
"I was eating my fifth lunch at Arby's, and I suddenly get a call," Kraft said. "I was furious. No one disturbs my Arby's time! They told me I had to bail this Mangina character out of jail. I told them that I didn't even remember hiring them, but then my secretary said I was in an Arby's food coma when it happened, so that makes sense. Still though, this pisses me off."
Perhaps Kraft would be angrier if the Patriots actually had lost. New England cruised to an easy 56-0 victory over a completely inept Miami team trying to figure things out in its new regime.
For the second year in a row, the Dolphins hired a Buffalo Bills reject as their head coach. Chan Gailey was given the job in January. Gailey brought along general manager Buddy Nix, who was with him in Buffalo.
Despite their immense need for a quarterback, the Dolphins eschewed Timmy Clausen (no relation to Jimmy) with the sixth pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Instead, they opted to sign former Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler, who hadn't taken a single NFL snap since 1997 prior to last night's game.
"I laugh when idiots like WalterFootball.com, Matt McGuire and Mel Kiper say that you need a franchise quarterback to win in this league," Nix barked before the game. "I'm going to prove them all wrong by winning with a quarterback who hasn't even been in the league in 17 years! Ha!"
With Shuler under center, Gailey was able to orchestrate his dream offense, which consisted of nothing but running plays and 1-yard completions. Shuler finished 30-of-30 for 30 yards. Despite the 56-0 loss, however, Gailey remained encouraged.
"We saw some good tangs and we saw some bad tangs," Gailey said. "The trick is gettin' more good tangs to happen than bad tangs happen. If that happen, then more good tangs will be happenin' for us than bad tangs."
Though Miami's offensive ineptness was a major factor in the blowout, credit must be given to Shannon Sharpe, the Patriots' new assistant to the offensive coordinator. Despite never working with Sharpe before, quarterback Anthony Morelli seemed to understand Sharpe perfectly, seemingly forming a close bond with the new coach. The two addressed the media together afterward.
"Haha eh yo, Shannon, uh, eh yo," Morelli said at the post-game press conference.
"8 ee 8gfew eouie hemoglobin e8gfhweg9 e vowig 80g r la slo hwghro," Shannon replied.
The two went on like this for 30 minutes. It was as if they were former childhood best friends who hadn't seen each other in years. Emmitt remarked that he was pleased with their relationship, but warned that the team still had room for improvement going forward.
"Everybody in this room think we are goin' 21-0 again," Emmitt said. "But I must warned you, do not count their egg before they hatches. The NFL have a long season, a long season full of hardships and soft ships and ships that are not hard or not soft, but somewhere in the middle, like a loaf of bread that is hard on the outside, but soft on the inside."
We were left wondering - would Emmitt be more optimistic if he had someone in the New England Patriots organization who actually understood him like Morelli currently does?
Jones gives the Packers a physical hitter and presence in the middle of their defense. Morgan Burnett is in the last year of his contract, is approaching 30, and had injuries last year. Jones could learn behind him for a year and then take over.