After an egregious loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, the renowned defensive coordinator is packing up and shipping down to Detroit, Michigan to be the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
The 43-year-old graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has spent his entire NFL coaching career in New England, starting as an offensive assistant and working his way up to defensive coordinator by 2012. He has helped the Patriots get to three Super Bowls running the Patriots’ defense.
New general manager Bob Quinn made the move official on Monday morning, merely hours after the Super Bowl. The two have a connection dating back to their days in Foxboro. Even before the franchise had an opening for a head coach, this was most certainly the match the new general manager wanted to make happen in his quest for a new coach.
The Lions clearly weren’t getting any better under former head coach Jim Caldwell and the new Lions GM started his search for his new leader.
From Day 1, Matt Patricia was the top target, which is big for the Lions that they managed to secure him in the long run.
The Patriots had a 75-21 record durin Patricia’s six seasons as defensive coordinator. In that span, the Patriots allowed 107.1 rushing yards per game, 12th in the league and 246.7 passing yards per game (25th in the NFL). They also found a lot a success in the red area and held opponents out of the end zone, allowing 19.2 points per game. The total was 2nd best in the NFL to the Seattle Seahawks (16.9).
The hire is big when you talk about the Detroit Lions’ public relations change. It shows that the Lions finally were willing to do what it took to hire the man they believe they needed. It’s big from a culture perspective as well. Both Quinn and Patricia come from the same way of thinking. That Patriots familiarity should lessen Patricia’s time to learn as a head coach. Meaning that he will be expected to win, win soon, and win often.
Even though the New England Patriots surrendered 41 points to the Eagles in what may have been Matt Patricia’s worst called game, this will not define his future as a head coach or his tenure with the Patriots at all.
Without a doubt, Matt Patricia is one of the most brilliant coaches in the NFL today and has patiently waited for his chance to lead a team.
Matt Patricia is the guy who players love, who they rave about, and who they believe cares about them on a deeply human level beyond football. There’s a compassionate side to him and Patricia shouldn’t be afraid to use that in his new job.
The message to Patricia is a very simple, yet thorough one. Take what you can from what Belichick taught you, figure out how it works to your advantage, and proceed.