‘Fall of the Berlin Wall:’ End of Matt Patricia Era Celebrated by Lions

Darrell Bevell

Getty Darrell Bevell coaching the Lions vs. the Bears.

The Detroit Lions fired Matt Patricia over a week ago, and the move has been very well received both within the fan and player community since it happened.

After Patricia’s removal, there was some question about how a roster of players he helped in selecting might react. Safe to say that isn’t a worry any more, and that’s especially true after Detroit’s big 34-30 stunning win over the Chicago Bears in Week 13.

Following that game, veteran NFL analyst Michael Silver from the NFL Network was asked to put the Detroit mood in context. His commentary on the matter was very interesting given the fact it sounds as if Lions players are thrilled to be finished with Patricia and only looking forward. In fact, Silver compared the firing to a major world event or the overthrow of a dictatorship.

Silver said:

“It’s kind of like I’d say the fall of the Berlin Wall. When Matt Patricia was fired, one assistant told me watch what happens now that the dictator is gone. We’re going to be loose, we’ll probably win out. Well, one down. I talked to veteran receiver Marvin Jones afterwards and I said ‘when’s the last time you had this much fun playing football. He laughed and said ‘I’m not going to lie, it’s been a while.’ He said ‘I’d catch a ball near the sideline, our defenders would be yelling at the opponent. Everyone was engaged the whole game. We had juice, we fed off it. Darrell Bevell told us just be you.’ At halftime Jones said Bevell told the team ‘just keep doing what you’re doing but crank it up. I don’t care if you have to run around like chickens without heads. Just do it with passion.’ A nice, nice moment for a Lions team that finally feels free.”

Most understand that for the team to struggle and the Lions to be this excited about the dismissal of a coach points to a bad culture, but fall of the Berlin Wall? Comparing Patricia to a dictator? That’s a whole other matter entirely which proves how bad Patricia’s locker room really was near the end in Detroit.

Now that there’s been a change, it seems like the sky is the limit for the Lions.

Lions Big Win Over Bears No Accident

It’s clear the Lions have despised Matt Patricia for some time. Otherwise, how else could the come from behind win against all odds be explained? Detroit looked more comfortable all day long even as they trailed in the game by 10 points, and the fact they were able to confidently rally and play within themselves does not feel like an accident. Patricia never beat the Bears in his career, and the fact that Darrell Bevell was able to do it in his first game only makes the win more telling for the Lions and embarrassing for the former coach.

Patricia lost in all semblance of ways to the Bears. He lost in close games and in blowout fashion, but the fact he never claimed such a thrilling win might only be more proof that the team simply wasn’t motivated to play hard for him in the end.

Darrell Bevell Hasn’t Heard From Matt Patricia

Sometimes, when a new boss takes over from the coordinator position, the coach that hired him will offer encouragement. Not in this case. While Bevell was hearing from plenty of friends from around the league following his advancement to boss and first NFL win as coach, he was asked Monday if Matt Patricia reached out following the win with a text. The answer? No.

It might not be surprising to see Patricia keeping his distance, but it could also be telling that the coach wasn’t exactly thrilled to share kudos with the man who took his job and has been getting all sorts of love in the days since. Clearly, Patricia knows his standing with the Lions, and it’s clear the feeling is mutual from the staff and players who apparently had to deal with his antics the last few seasons in the building.

The Lions are moving on now, and appear to clearly be in a much better place.

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