Matt Patricia: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
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Matt Patricia: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Matt Patricia is in his 3rd season as the Patriots' defensive coordinator. (Getty)

Matt Patricia is in his 3rd season as the Patriots' defensive coordinator. (Getty)

He can develop design specifications for military aircraft and he can draw up a defensive gameplan to shut down the best offenses in the NFL.

No, Matt Patricia isn't your typical NFL defensive coordinator. The New England Patriots assistant coach is also an aeronautical engineer.

Patricia is probably the closest thing to a rocket scientist you'll find in an NFL locker room.

And now he and his Patriots are a victory away from another title. New England meets the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 2017 in Houston on Sunday, February 5.

Patricia's defensive unit intercepted Seattle's Russell Wilson on the final play of Super Bowl 49 to help New England win its fourth title under Bill Belichick. They go for No. 5 on Sunday.

Here's what you need to know about Patricia:

1. Patricia Has Been With The Patriots For All of His NFL Seasons



Patricia has been in the NFL since 2004, all with New England. He took a job as an offensive assistant in '04, then moved to assistant offensive line coach in 2005. For the next 5 seasons, Patricia coached the team's linebackers, then moved to safeties in 2011.

Since 2012, he's been the defensive coordinator, being promoted by Bill Belichick. But Patricia had been calling the defensive plays since 2010, the year after former DC Dean Pees departed for the Baltimore Ravens.

Patricia has two Super Bowl titles with the Pats -- last year and also in 2004, his first season in Foxboro.

Patricia's Patriots ranked in the top 10 of a number of defensive categories during the 2016-17 regular season -- scoring (1st in the NFL), yards allowed per game (8th), rushing yards allowed per game (3rd), giveaway/takeaway differential (3rd) and forced fumbles (tied 3rd), to name a few.

2. He Has a College Degree in Aeronautical Engineering



Patricia earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1996. That's the branch of engineering concerned with the design, production, and maintenance of aircraft which operate in the Earth's atmosphere.

Patricia later earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Amherst College head coach E.J. Mills had Patricia on his staff and told ESPN about the RPI grad's smarts:

"One thing that struck me right away was that he was trained in engineering and he was a computer whiz. We had just gotten a new video system and that's where you knew Matty was special. He was on the cutting edge. We'd be breaking a game down and he'd have his Excel spreadsheet saying, 'We can do this, we can do that.' It is stuff that might be commonplace now, but he was ahead of it 10 years ago, always thinking outside the box."

3. Patricia Left Football For 2 Years to Work as an Engineer



Patricia began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at RPI in 1996 then left football 2 years to pursue a job as an engineer. Those jobs have a median yearly salary of about $79,000.

But football came knocking again in 1999 when Patricia signed for about $7,000 per year to become a graduate assistant/defensive line coach at Division III Amherst College. He spent 2 seasons there, then jumped to Syracuse as a offensive graduate assistant (2001-03).

Patricia was looking for a coaching job in 2004 when the Patriots' opportunity unexpectedly came into the picture.

4. He Interviewed for the Browns Head Coaching Vacancy



Patricia's stock has been soaring since becoming the Patriots defensive coordinator, especially over the past two seasons.

After Mike Pettine was fired by the Browns after the season, Patricia interviewed for that head coaching job, but didn't get it. It ultimately went to Hue Jackson.

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Browns would have been interested in a second interview with Patricia, though it didn't appear defensive coordinator shared the same feelings:

The Miami Dolphins were also interested in Patricia, but opted to hire Adam Gase.

Currently there are no head coach openings in the NFL after the Tennessee Titans made Mike Mularkey their man, so there is a good chance Patricia will be back in Foxboro for the 2016-17 season.

When asked by the media on a conference call after the Patriots' 27-20 divisional playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Patricia replied:

I'm just really focused on Denver. That was a couple weeks ago or whatever the situation was there. We've got a big challenge in front of us here trying to get ready for the Broncos. That's really not a question that's pertinent to this week.

5. Patricia Played Offensive Line in College



Patricia was an offensive lineman for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Engineers, playing both center and guard.

He helped his class to a 31-8 record and 3 ECAC Championships during his 4 years (1992-96).

Off the field, Patricia was born in Sherrill, New York, and is married to wife Raina. The couple, married in 2009, has two sons -- Dominic and Dante.

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