Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia is taking the heat for his team’s miserable start to 2020, and he is hearing it from the media from all corners of the internet in plenty of ways.
It’s also not just former players giving it to Patricia left and right, national radio hosts are as well. Recently, Zach Gelb of CBS Sports had a particularly strong takedown of Patricia the boss and leader. As Gelb said, the coach has no reason to be blaming anyone else for what has happened in Detroit thus far under his watch, given he was brought in to be part of the solution and hasn’t gotten the job done.
“You can say ‘we took over a tough situation, there was a lot of work to do.’ The guy that was before you in Jim Caldwell, he had 36 wins in 4 years. You weren’t taking over a 2-14 team. You weren’t taking over an 0-16 team. The reason you were brought in was the organization thought Jim Caldwell was a good coach. They wanted you to take the next step. It wasn’t as if you were taking over a franchise that was gutted and had nothing. This guy, he’s another person who gets away from New England, tries to be Bill Belichick but doesn’t back it up on the scoreboard. You go from a guy in Jim Caldwell who wasn’t the greatest coach. He had 36 wins in 4 years. Matt Patricia, in year 3, has 10 wins with that franchise. Jim Caldwell made it through 4 years, Matt Patricia, I’m not sure he makes it through year 3. If I’m running the Lions organization, there’s no way I’m bringing him back for a 4th year. This guy, I know he wore that Roger Goodell clown shirt, but he’s turned into a clown. Your post game press conferences are embarrassing. Lions fans, they don’t do a lot of winning, they had something that was working with Jim Caldwell and they went to Matt Patricia and he has run this thing right to the ground.”
Patricia, for his part, has tried to clarify his comments from Sunday and his explanation was that he is constantly saying the team has lots of work to do in all aspects. Whether or not anyone buys that is hard to say, but Patricia did take plenty of heat after the implication that he had to work a major rebuild in Detroit that still isn’t finished.
Clearly, several people from the outside don’t seem to believe in the coach being able to turn things around or his explanations as to why it hasn’t yet happened.
Matt Patricia’s Future Murky With Lions
This week, Detroit heads into the bye week with a woeful record. The pressure from the fanbase to make a move will likely be immense, but that doesn’t mean the Lions are going to do so. In fact, probably far from it in the short term at this point in time.
Speaking to WXYZ’s Brad Galli after the 35-29 loss, Detroit Free Press reporter Dave Birkett was asked directly about Patricia’s future. As he said, while there might not be a short term danger to Patricia, there is certainly a long term danger.
“I do think he should have concern for the long term future. I don’t think the Lions will make a move right now. I don’t know there’s much point to making a move after 4 games. 1-3, the Lions still have a shot, especially when you look at what’s ahead. I think the 7 teams before Thanksgiving, one of them has a winning record. We’re 36 games into Matt Patricia’s tenure as head coach. He inherited a 9 win team. When you look at what this team has done under Matt Patricia, there’s very little reason to believe that Matt Patricia is going to get a 4th season as head coach.”
Waiting until the end of the season might be painful for Lions fans, but it seems like the most likely scenario at this point for the team. Patricia had better hope he can use his upcoming schedule to make a run, or it could be curtains for the coach in Detroit.
Right now, that could be the direction things could be heading in the future.
Matt Patricia’s Record With Lions
Certainly, a 10-25-1 record isn’t a great way to build faith in a program, and to say that Patricia’s tenure has been a mess has been a massive understatement. He’s struggled with a few things outside his control such as 2019’s injury outbreak, but there is no reason Patricia should be struggling in year 3 considering he had plenty of his players in his scheme and theoretically, a blank slate with which to work. Worse, Patricia has become known for his team’s inability to finish games. Certainly, that’s been a calling card in his tenure.
Will Patricia survive 2020? That remains anyone’s guess, but the Lions coach should probably find a way to start winning if he wants it to be the case. Otherwise, calls like this will only grow louder.