The Detroit Lions haven’t decided if they will make a move with Matt Patricia as of yet, but if they do, an interesting option could be on the market in Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy, fired last year by the rival Green Bay Packers, spent the 2019 season on the sidelines waiting for his next opportunity. That could come in the 2020 cycle, and while it’s still too early to say if the Lions are set to be one of the teams looking, that hasn’t stopped some from seeing the fit with the coach in the Motor City.
Recently, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports put together a list with some teams that could make sense for McCarthy this time around on the cycle, and the Lions placed at No. 5 on the list.
Here’s what Benjamin wrote about why Detroit could make so much sense for the former elite NFL boss:
“Matt Patricia is 9-19 through his first 29 games running the show in Detroit, and his specialty, the defense, doesn’t look like anything special, either. McCarthy, meanwhile, doesn’t appear vindictive when discussing his old team, but he was “blindsided” by Green Bay firing him in-season, La Canfora reported in November, especially after delivering a Lombardi — and more than 12 years of work — to the Packers. Coaching the Lions wouldn’t just be about sticking it to Green Bay, though. It would be about returning to a division he knows through and through, falling into an offense with no shortage of ready-made weapons (QB Matthew Stafford, RB Kerryon Johnson, WR Kenny Golladay, TE T.J. Hockenson) and giving the Lions a much-needed shot of winning experience.”
There is weaponry, and ownership that could appeal to McCarthy if the job was open. He also knows the lay of the land in the division, which would be a huge advantage he would bring.
Mike McCarthy’s Resume
If there’s one team that knows all about what McCarthy can do on the football field, it’s the Lions. McCarthy tormented Detroit for years while coaching the Packers, and was a routine winner of the NFC North. He helped build the Green Bay roster up to Super Bowl contention, and while he didn’t get over the hump a second time, Lions fans would likely crave the type of stability he has seen during his time as a boss.
McCarthy is a solid 135-85-2 as a boss in the NFL and brings with him a Super Bowl XLV ring as well as 6 NFC North division titles. He was also 18-7 against the Lions all-time.
Recent reports show McCarthy as extremely motivated for his next gig, putting in the hours studying the game to make sure he can be successful the next time around.
Will Lions Fire Matt Patricia?
Perhaps the most complicated question of all is what happens to Patricia. A lot could depend on if the Lions are able to finish the season with victories at all.
Patricia came to the Lions fresh off success in New England in 2018, and struggled out of the gate to capture the attention of the locker room. A bumpy start paved the way to a more solid finish in 2018 with the team only winning six games, but defeating squads like the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers, which offered hope.
Patricia has helped the Lions stay in games for the most part in 2019, something which the team struggled with in 2018, but has not gotten them over the hump at closing. That’s perhaps his biggest wart so far as a boss, combined with a lousy defense that has not picked up the program whatsoever. Patricia might get more of a pass considering the absurd amount of injuries he’s dealt with, but it’s hard to ignore that in his tenure as coach, the Lions have had the same discipline problems plague them that always have through the years.
After the debacle of this season, many still see Patricia as safe, with 2020 being a make or break year for the tenure. Even still, there have been a few rumblings his job could be on the line.
If a move is made, McCarthy could be an interesting name for fans to remember in the weeks ahead.
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