Matt Patricia is known for his intensity coaching the Detroit Lions, and this week at the Senior Bowl, tons of top NFL prospects are getting a taste of his fire.
During the week in Mobile, Patricia has been on the microphone and providing some excellent insight into his practices. Typically, folks don’t get to see Lions practice or hear much of what Patricia has to say, but with the practices on full display this week, that has changed.
Here’s a look at Patricia colorfully coaching up his North squad, while also giving the censors a workout:
That’s been far from the only example from the week, too. Patricia also let loose on Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson when he muffed a snap in a NSFW rant.
Obviously, Patricia holds his players to a higher standard and wants to get the best out of them. That’s no exception whether they are college players or guys making a contract from the Lions.
Arguably, the fact Patricia is getting to mold college players only makes him want to push them harder.
How Lions Will Benefit From Senior Bowl
How will the week in Mobile benefit Detroit greatly? Recently, a piece was compiled at the NFL Draft Lounge by Coach Leslie, a high school coach in Texas which explains what the Lions will be looking to accomplish later on this month.
Interestingly, part of the take involved why the Lions will be alright in spite of not having a coaching staff set in stone yet for 2020.
“Coaches for both the Lions and Bengals will put the players through their individual drills that they do in their specific scheme. This is where positional coaches play a vital role in the overall evaluation process.
For example, although we don’t yet know who the defensive coordinator is for the Lions, we can expect them to continue running a base 3-4 defense. Their defensive line coach will put his assigned group through some drills that will allow him to see if the linemen can two-gap or not. (By two-gap, we mean that the defender is responsible for two gaps along the offensive line rather than one.)”
Additionally, as the piece explains, previous coaching staffs in the Senior Bowl have used the game to their dramatic advantage in order to scout and find key players. Just last year, the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers found plenty of difference makers after their week in Mobile.
“Last year the Raiders and the 49ers hosted the Senior Bowl. The Raiders benefited the most from the process and drafted four players from the Senior Bowl and signed three as undrafted free agents. In total, six of those players ended the season on the 53-man active roster. Of those six players, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, and Alec Ingold played critical roles on the team.
The 49ers drafted three players from the Senior Bowl including, Deebo Samuel, who finished with over 800 yards in his rookie season.
Expect the Lions and Bengals to draft several of the Senior Bowl players, so they can help turn their culture into a winning one.”
Though the Lions flamed out in dramatic fashion in 2019, the benefit was almost certainly getting them into this game so they might find the next generation of talent for their team. They will be able to get an up close look at who fits their roster and use that knowledge to find players.
Recent history shows they figure to be successful at doing just that.
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 was 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.
With a fiery Senior Bowl, Patricia is getting things off to a good start this year.