Matt Patricia had an unceremonious exit from the Detroit Lions after coming to the team as one of the most heralded coordinators in the NFL, but now that he has headed back to the New England Patriots, the bloom is coming back on the rose.
Patricia has gone from a maligned former coordinator to a potential heir to Bill Belichick. Now, he’s being called a potential genius behind the Patriots in 2021. Recently, Peter Schrager of Good Morning Football explained why he thinks that Patricia could be the x-factor for the team in 2021.
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“You know who joined the Patriots this offseason and has taken on a lot of roles without much media fanfare? Matt Patricia. I think Matt Patricia might end up being the secret weapon as Lions dans might be rolling their eyes from Detroit to Ypsilanti. This guy might be the secret weapon. He’s had such an integral role this offseason. His title is undefined. If you watch he is right next to Belichick during OTA’s. We saw Matt Patricia was there. His name was on many of contracts. From all reports I am getting from New England, he plated a major role in the scouting and decision with Belichick and McDaniels to take Mac Jones. To me this Patriots team looks new on the field, but Belichick also has different people in his ear. We’re bringing back Matt Patricia but not just in a coaching or defensive role but in a soundboard role. I found it to be really interesting.”
There is no doubt that Lions fans are rolling their eyes about this commentary considering the exit and how it played out in the Motor City, but apparently that doesn’t change the fact that some people think the coach is heading for big things once again in New England.
Patricia Called Potential Heir to Belichick
After getting fired in Detroit, Patricia managed to fall upward, landing back with the Patriots in a new role as a consultant. Now that the offseason has progressed, a better idea has been provided about what specifically his role is with the team. As has been written, Patricia is assisting the team with draft preparations, free agency and could be assuming more of the roles of a general manager while being in the mix to become head coach one day.
All of this leads NBC Sports analyst Mike Florio to wonder if it’s possible that the team is grooming Patricia to be their next head coach or even a front office executive. Florio wrote about this in a recent piece at PFT.
“Regardless of whether and to what extent Patricia’s current duties may lead to a bigger role in the post-Belichick Patriots, Patricia has landed in an ideal spot to expand his experience and knowledge of a modern (and elite) football operation. As Peter King previously has noted on PFT Live, the Rams came away from their head-coaching interview with Patricia in 2017 thinking that he eventually could become a great General Manager.
Maybe he’ll do that. Or maybe he’ll become a head coach again. Or both. The real question is whether he’s willing to wait for Belichick, who turned 69 last week, to move on — and whether Patricia believes he’d win the ensuing scrum with Josh McDaniels and the pair of Belichick sons currently working for the team.
Don’t underestimate Patricia’s chances. He has long been regarded as brilliant within the Patriots organization. Despite his inability to transplant the Patriot Way to a midwestern organization that has largely lost its way for the past six decades years, the 46-year-old Patricia ultimately could be the ideal choice to continue things the way they started when Belichick arrived in 2000.”
Lions fans would disagree with how ideal a choice it would be, but it would be typical of the franchise to see Patricia go and have success somewhere else, especially if that place was New England.
It seems like Belichick still wants to coach for a while, so there might be a bit to wait to see if this ends up happening.
Patricia Joined Patriots During Offseason
Patricia will join the Patriots as an assistant to help the coaching staff in a variety of roles, Evan Rothstein, who had been with the Lions during their last few regimes and famously got to call plays thanks to COVID-19 is also joining Patricia in coming to the Patriots. The story was broken by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe a few months back.
When last he left the Patriots, Patricia was being hyped as the team’s brilliant defensive mind on his way to Detroit to team up with Bob Quinn. Obviously, things never worked out for the sides in the Motor City, so now Patricia will retreat back home to New England and try to refocus his career.
At this point, though he was demoted, it’s clear his franchise believes in him significantly. Will Patricia be the difference for the Patriots? Some think it will be the case.