The Detroit Lions have officially bottomed out in 2019 after a strong start to the season, and while the elements have been out of Matt Patricia’s control, that doesn’t stop some folks from thinking he should be done.
According to a couple of writers, the end for Patricia should be near as coach of the Lions after how miserable things have turned for Detroit in 2019. According to Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News, it’s time for Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn to go. Here’s just a portion of what he had to say:
“Patricia and Quinn have failed. The task has proven too big for them.
There’s no legitimate reason for them to return, with Patricia’s 9-19-1 record in two seasons and Quinn’s 27-33-1 in four seasons. You could fire Patricia and keep Quinn, but that’s not likely or logical. They’re attached at the Patriot hip, and the issues encompass everything — coaching, roster composition, direction.
There have been injuries and close calls and simple misfortune, and yes, the Lions (3-9-1) continued to battle against the Vikings (9-4). It was the first time in 13 games the Lions never led, and the 13-point margin was the largest of the season. That would matter more if there were other signs of progress, or clear foundational pieces. Good effort isn’t good enough, and Patricia knows all verdicts eventually are rendered by the record.
Normally, two years aren’t enough to accurately judge a first-time head coach. But I don’t see where Patricia has built any equity, or earned the right to continue. I asked him how he can convince people (and ownership) he can turn this around, and if he understood the job-security scrutiny.”
It didn’t end there, however. NJ.com’s Darryl Slater had Patricia high on his list of hot seat rankings for coaches placing only behind Pat Shurmur. According to Slater, Patricia simply isn’t a good coach whatsoever. Here’s what he wrote:
“Yet another example of a coach who left Bill Belichick’s side and couldn’t replicate Belichick’s success. Patricia went 6-10 last year. And now this season has gone completely off the rails. The Lions have lost six straight games and are 1-9 since a 2-0-1 start. He deserves to get fired. Not a good head coach.”
Though the Lions have had injuries and other issues this season, Detroit’s team has been essentially dramatically changed since the 9-7 group which barely missed the playoffs after the 2017 season. Now, the team has seemingly regressed even in spite of the other issues they have endured this season.
That’s more than enough for Patricia to lose his job as a few analysts are considered.
Bob Quinn’s Lions Tenure
Quinn came to Detroit after Martha Ford stunningly blew out Detroit’s front office following a debacle in the 2015 season. Quinn entered from New England and elected to observe Caldwell for two full seasons before making a move. Though Caldwell would finish with a winning record, Quinn eventually sacked him at the end of the season in 2017.
All the while, Quinn has been the one crafting the roster, and there have been some major hits as well as some obvious misses for the general manager. In 2016, Quinn’s first draft involved the selection of Taylor Decker along the offensive front. Decker has been solid, but far from elite. The 2016 draft also saw the Lions pick up Graham Glasgow who’s been a starter, as well as a solid piece.
From there, Quinn has managed to find a few difference makers every draft season. 2017 brought Jarrad Davis, who has been alright as well as Kenny Golladay, who has arguably been Quinn’s best pick. In subsequent drafts, players like Glasgow, Jamal Agnew, Frank Ragnow, Da’Shawn Hand, Tracy Walker, Kerryon Johnson and Tyrell Crosby have been solid contributors and shown glimpses.
In free agency, Quinn’s work has been more hit or miss. He has picked up names like Marvin Jones, Justin Coleman, Trey Flowers and Devon Kennard but has surprised by adding names like Jesse James, Christian Jones and Rashaan Melvin, all of whom have struggled to fit in. Quinn has also made some failed signings at running back.
As a whole, it’s perhaps a bit more on Quinn that Detroit has struggled so badly this season. His roster has not had the advantage of key depth that so many teams in the NFL feature.
Matt Patricia’s Lions Tenure
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.
The bet is that both Patricia and Quinn get a mulligan on 2019 considering the rash of injuries that have set the team back, while also living with the understanding that 2020 is likely the make or break year for this group.
Many see time running out for this duo, and for them, it’s long overdue for that to be the case.
READ NEXT: Former Lions Linebacker Slams Matt Patricia