The Detroit Lions‘ defense has bottomed out in a big way in the 2019 season, and while Matt Patricia has come under fire, simple logic says it might not be likely that the coach is going anywhere, even after a tough year.
For fans looking for a simple and effective solution, firing defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni could be a better idea, even as unlikely as that could seem given his connection with Patricia through the years.
Still, in the unlikely event a move is made, who could the Lions target next that could help Patricia and company turn things around? Here’s some of the names to remember if the Lions do choose to make a move and decide to make a change at defensive coordinator.
Steve Belichick, Patriots Safeties Coach
The son of Bill Belichick worked along side Patricia for a long time with the Patriots, and is their current safeties coach and one of the leaders of a resurgent defense that has been solid in 2019. Just who calls the plays for New England? It’s still likely the elder Belichick, but if some experience for his son was needed, Detroit could be the perfect place for that to germinate. It’s an interesting thought for a guy who might need his first shot away from the family in New England to flourish. The Belichick family has close ties to the Lions given the coach was given his first big break in Detroit, so it would be an interesting move.
Ron Rivera, Former Panthers Head Coach
This suggestion seems farfetched given Rivera is more likely to be a head coach somewhere in 2020 than a defensive coordinator, but if Rivera wants to rehab his image under the radar a bit, he could always choose to come to Detroit and remake a defense which has been a complete disaster. It’s been a while since Rivera has called plays as a coordinator, but once upon a time he was very successful doing so. If Rivera were to come, the Lions could also have him on staff and ready to go as a potential 2021 replacement if things go bad. This scenario is likely a dream, though.
Jerod Mayo, Patriots Linebackers Coach
Seen as one of the next rising stars in the business. Mayo is a player who cut his teeth in the league with Patricia, and it would be interesting to see him given the elevation to call plays for the Lions. Few understand the game like former players, and Mayo would bring that along with a youthful energy to the team. He’s probably going to be the next titled defensive coordinator for the Patriots, so bringing him on would be complicated. Still, if Patricia and Bob Quinn want to repair their image as well as their defense, they might have to make a bold move just like this in order to get it done.
Romeo Crennel, Texans Defensive Coordinator
If Bill O’Brien and the Texans flame out again this season in the playoffs, big changes could be in order for the Texans. In such a scenario, Crennel would be a free agent, and he is someone who has the New England history on his side as well. Crennel is a veteran coordinator and a guy who has done a solid job with Houston. Getting a veteran in the mix with tons of NFL experience would be a major plus for the Lions. Detroit fans would probably have to root for Houston to fall apart in the postseason again, however, for this to be close to reality.
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