Matt Patricia is giving his team’s new hire full control over the defense.
New Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin revealed Sunday that he will be on the sideline “calling the defense” this season, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. That indicates that Patricia, the Lions’ head coach, will be giving up his defensive playcalling duties.
Patricia, the longtime New England Patriots defensive coordinator, handled most of Detroit’s defensive playcalls last season. Unfortunately, the Lions, who finished 3-12-1, gave up the second-most total yards in the entire NFL. Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni then stepped down after the season, paving the way for Undlin’s hiring.
The Senior Bowl is one of a handful of NFL events that provides slightly more relaxed media access, giving fans at home a closer look at how games are coached and prepared for. They can also give everyone a look at some personality that doesn’t often show during the actual season.
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia certainly provided an example of that Saturday. Patricia and his staff coached the North team during the Senior Bowl, and the coach himself was interviewed at the start of the fourth quarter by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Among the topics that came up: Pelissero being allowed to call a play with his job on the line, Patricia nearly spilling the Lions’ draft plans, and the attempted trade of a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup in exchange for Patricia’s famous pencil.
Patricia is a student of the New England Patriots and has not always come off as the most affable guy, so this was a somewhat surprising side to him. Of course, it probably helped that this was a more relaxed environment and the team he was coaching had a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter. Still, it’s always nice to see a bit of personality from a guy who doesn’t always show it during the season.
Matt Patricia is going to get an opportunity to coach the Detroit Lions for a third year, but ownership has made it clear it will be his last if the team is not in the playoff hunt late in the season.
On Tuesday, Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford told reporters that both Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn will return in 2020. However, Ford said Detroit’s ownership group expects Patricia to make staff changes and essentially made it clear he will be fired if the team doesn’t have a winning record next December.
“We expect to be a playoff contender,” Mrs. Ford told https://t.co/GuQ9WAOUfS. “That means playing meaningful games in December.”
The Lions have lost seven games in a row and are going to finish in last place in the NFC North for a second consecutive season. Patricia was likely given the benefit of the doubt this year because Matthew Stafford has been out for more than a month with a back injury, and he was having one of the best seasons of his career prior to that. Although, Detroit had lost four of the last five games in which Stafford played.
Detroit went 9-7 in both 2016 and 2017 before firing Jim Caldwell and bringing in Patricia, so you can understand why fans are frustrated. Patricia cracked a clever joke about his job security after the Lions’ latest loss on Sunday, but he will be on a very short leash next season.
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia’s seat is getting warmer with each passing week, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humor about the situation.
The Lions on Sunday lost their seventh game in a row, dropping them to 3-10-1 on the season and increasing speculation about Patricia’s employment. He’s not letting it get to him, however, remarking that he never leaves the facility, so the organization can’t revoke his key card.
Matt Patricia, when asked about the limbo he's in, said that he comes in and tries to earn his job every single day — something he learned early in his career. Joked he doesn't leave so they won't deactivate his key card while he's not there.
It’s hard to figure out where Patricia stands with the organization. There hasn’t been a lot of talk that he’s in immediate danger despite some unflattering stories that have come out about him during his tenure. However, seven consecutive losses is one way to raise significant questions about one’s future.
Patricia seems safe for 2020 at the moment, but his record doesn’t help him much.
Matthew Stafford is dealing with fractures in his back, which is a fairly severe injury. His Detroit Lions are 3-8-1 and have already been eliminated from playoff contention. So why haven’t they ruled out their veteran quarterback for the rest of the year?
According to coach Matt Patricia, the Lions are keeping the door open on Stafford’s return out of respect for his competitiveness.
Patricia said the Lions are "going to keep that door open" for Stafford to return still ."out of respect for Matthew and his competitiveness"
Stafford is tough and wants to play, even though there’s no real reason for him to come back. Shutting him down is definitely on the table, but the team appears determined to monitor his progress and give him every chance to play again. It’s probably not smart, but they appear quite committed.
Stafford started eight games this season, and had 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns in what was shaping up to be one of his best years statistically.
FOX announcer Kevin Burkhardt shared that Patricia’s grandfather was a World War II veteran and Patricia has several friends overseas who are serving the country. Burkhardt noted that the Lions are heavily involved in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) charity. The team hosted several families for Sunday’s game through the TAPS program for their Salute to Service game.
The Lions are hosting 25 families through the TAPS program at Sunday's game and Saturday's walk-through as part of their Salute to Service game this weekend. Lions coach Matt Patricia: "I just can't think those families enough for what they sacrifice and what they go through."
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia did not take his team’s tie with the Arizona Cardinals well.
The Lions led 24-6 in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game before allowing 18 unanswered points at the end of regulation, then settling for a 27-27 tie after both teams traded overtime field goals. A key turning point was Patricia calling timeout just before a 3rd and 5 play that likely would’ve gotten the Lions the first down they needed to finish off the game with just over two minutes to go.
The totality of these events clearly weighed on Patricia, who implied that he hadn’t slept at all since the game ended during his Monday press conference.
#Lions Matt Patricia has no answer for how he felt about the tie when he woke up this morning since he never went to sleep.
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia has not exactly had the most memorable first season in the job, and it seems that there were some real issues with punctuality behind the scenes.
The coach’s press availability on Wednesday was pushed back by a half hour from its original start time, and then Patricia didn’t arrive for another 15 minutes after that. According to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, this is normal.
Matt Patricia has arrived at the announced time of his press conference once this year. I've never seen any pro or college coach struggle with punctuality anywhere near this degree.
Patricia himself didn’t seem to care much for the concerns, offering an indifferent response when asked about how much he values punctuality.
“I think it just depends on the situation really,” Patricia said. “It depends. There’s a pretty busy schedule from those situations I think for everybody. I think fluidity is probably the best answer for you.”
The Lions have regressed from 9-7 last season to 5-10 this year. There have been reports, particularly early in the season, that Patricia’s coaching style was grating on Lions players. One can understand why that would be if he was preaching discipline and a culture change while simultaneously showing up late to meetings.
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia’s Wednesday press conference got a bit testy for an unlikely reason.
As an unidentified reporter moved to question him over the recent Golden Tate trade, Patricia scolded the reporter for poor posture and essentially called them disrespectful.
“Well, you know. Do me a favor just kinda sit up, just like, have a little respect for the process,” Patricia told the reporter, via the Detroit Free Press. “Every day you come and ask me questions and you’re just kinda like you know, ‘gimme this.’
“I’m asking just to be a little respectful in this whole process. So ask me a question professionally and I’ll answer it for you.”
The reporter apparently complied, as they were able to ask their question and get a full answer.
Patricia has conditioned himself as a tough guy, which has grated on his players at times. It appears that his perfectionist attitude applies to journalists, too.
Not many people have the privilege of being able to say they have had success against Tom Brady, but Matt Patricia’s defense faced Brady enough in practice that there were times when the four-time Super Bowl MVP looked bad and was frustrated. Does that mean Patricia now has the secret for stopping Brady and the New England Patriots’ offense?
With his Detroit Lions set to host the Patriots on Sunday night, Patricia was asked Wednesday how he was able to slow Brady down at times in practice when he served as New England’s defensive coordinator. His response was fantastic.
Q: How did you slow Tom Brady down in practice?
Matt Patricia: “Probably the fact that it was practice.”
Patricia is probably being a bit modest, as a competitor like Brady tends to practice just as hard as he plays. That said, the Lions have allowed 78 points through their first two games of the season. If they don’t find ways to get more creative on Sunday, Brady will carve them up.