Matt Patricia has been catching a ton of heat for his performance coaching the Detroit Lions, and a new quote after his latest defeat has left one writer up in arms.
Veteran NBC Sports scribe Peter King featured Patricia’s take in his weekly column and called out the coach for presenting the idea that the Lions are better than their miserable record might indicate. After Detroit lost 20-7 to the Minnesota Vikings, Patricia was asked to provide a window into where the team is currently at and what has happened this year.
“For us, it’s about trying to improve and get better. I think we have a tough team, I think we have a team that works hard. We understand we’re going to build on top of that to get us over the hump on some of those things we’re not doing well enough,” Patricia said to the media. “The hard thing for us, and what I appreciate about this team, we don’t look at our record and say ‘this is what we are,’ I think we look at our record and say ‘this is not what we are.’ We need to do better and try to get the record to match up with what we are. That’s kind of where we’re struggling right now.”
King didn’t hold back in his criticism of this idea. Here’s what he wrote in the piece:
“I think that is a pile of crap. You are what your record says you are. The Lions are 3-9-1. They’ve won one of the last 10 games. Including the last 10 games of last season, Detroit has won six of its last 23 games. If you’re a good team masking a few deficiencies, you don’t win once a month. And Matthew Stafford has played 18 of those 23 games. Teams win without their starting quarterback. Drew Lock, two wins in a row in Denver. Devlin Hodges, 4-0.
I don’t know. That quote, to me, was weak.”
The Lions have a ton of problems right now, and questions are swirling as it relates to whether or not Patricia is the right coach for the team. The idea of Detroit’s record not reflecting what they truly are seems to spit in the face of a notion Bill Parcells has held for years, which is to say a team is exactly what their record states. Ironically, Parcells was the mentor of Bill Belichick, who was the mentor of Patricia. Perhaps something got lost on the way down the coaching tree.
Detroit has been close in 2019 and has not given up in games, but has not gotten over the hump but once with Patricia as coach against teams with a winning record. That’s a glaring fact which seems to indicate the Lions have a major problem on their hands.
Writers Calling for Lions to Fire Matt Patricia
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.
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.
Patricia is taking heat from quite possibly every single angle as his season has spiraled out of control.
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.
Patricia keeps maintaining the Lions are better than their record says, but not everybody is sure that is the case.
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