Little is known about the Detroit Lions‘ plans for the offseason, but the future of Matt Patricia could be in the air after a lousy finish to 2019. In the unlikely event a move is made, who would the Lions target?
One such name could be recently fired Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. After Rivera was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, a SportsLine list came out of some new odds as it relates to where Rivera may be coaching in 2020. While the New York Giants were the understandable overwhelming favorites, the Lions also landed on the list, perhaps surprisingly.
Detroit was sixth on the list at a +1000 to land Rivera, and while those odds aren’t that great, they are still ahead of teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, teams who are also facing similar frustrating seasons.
At this point, it doesn’t seem as if Patricia will be on the move, but all has been quiet on that front lending some to wonder. An established coach like Rivera is now on the market, and it will be fascinating to see where he lands.
Ron Rivera’s Fit With Lions
As a coach with the Panthers, Rivera took the team to Super Bowl 50 and is a two time Coach of the Year winner in the NFL. He has a winning 76-63-1 record as a boss in the league, and is known for defense, given he played for the Chicago Bears and won Super Bowl XX while there.
Prior to being a head coach, Rivera was the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, and also the defensive coordinator for the Bears.
In terms of Detroit, if the move was ever made, the team would gain an immediate winner who has been a head coach on the highest level if they were to get into the mix for Rivera’s services. He’s an established mind and someone who could bring instant credibility to the position.
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.
That might not be the case when all is said and done, however, if Martha Ford has her way. At this point, however, nobody knows what the decision makers are thinking, even as they believe Patricia and company could earn another shot.
If they don’t, Rivera is now on the market and the oddsmakers could have him firmly in play in Detroit.
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