‘I’m Gonna Ride Him:’ Lions Player Backs Matt Patricia to End

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia and Lions before a game in Carolina.

The Detroit Lions have struggled with consistency this season, and it feels as if things are falling apart for the roster and the team at times.

Even such, many of the players on the team have not given up hope both with regards to the franchise as well as its head coach in 2020. Speaking early this week, safety Duron Harmon was asked what the situation is like in the locker room and if Patricia has the faith of the team. As he said, the answer is and will remain a resounding yes. Harmon went so far as to say the Lions will be with Patricia until the end.

All told, it’s probably not a surprise to see Harmon supporting Patricia as he knew him from his first stop in New England with the Patriots. Others have also routinely affirmed the staff has not been the problem, but when the Lions consistently fall apart, that becomes harder and harder to believe.

One thing is for sure, and it’s Patricia hasn’t lost the locker room. That tends to be a key component in complete collapses in the NFL.

Duron Harmon Praised Matt Patricia Before

A few months back, Harmon praised Patricia for the team’s unified and positive response to the ongoing nationwide discussion on race. As he said in a recent interview with DetroitLions.com, Patricia should be praised for his handling of the situation and his allowing for the team to share their viewpoints openly and putting football on the back burner for the time being.

Harmon said:

“I believe we’ve been going a lot deeper than some other teams. Obviously I can’t speak for other teams, I’m just speaking off the experiences we’ve had,” he said. “We’ve had conversations each and every day last week. Matty P did a great job brining attention to the team last Friday. He’s given us an opportunity as black men to express our frustrations and for our white brothers in there, to give an opportunity to learn what we go through. Give them experiences that we went through because some people are oblivious, right wrong or indifferent. It’s been really powerful.”

According to Harmon, the reason the team has been able to have such discussions is Patricia setting the tone at the top and letting the players dictate the conversation and where it goes.

“(It starts) with the leadership of Matty P. We started phase 3 last week but with everything going on, how can you truly focus on football? I think he understood that and we were appreciative of that as a team,” Harmon said. “It’s been great conversations from top to bottom. We’ve been able to grow as a team. At the end of the day, this is a team sport and if you can truly commit to each other and love each other no matter your race, gender, anything, that’s how a team really creates a brotherhood and the wins will come off of that.”

With this example, it’s clear that Patricia has done a good job to come a long way from the coach who many players didn’t trust upon him coming to Detroit, but it might not matter. In spite of all this, the wins have not come which has been the glaring fact for the team regardless of how much the players might be in the coach’s corner at this point in time.

Patricia may have brought the team together this spring and summer, but the fact of the matter is, he still isn’t winning games. This is a game which judges based on record as harsh as it seems, and though Patricia has done a nice job with the personal side, the football side has not shown signs of improvement.

Matt Patricia Not Winning Despite Player Support

Patrica’s 13-28-1 record is only getting worse by the week and isn’t a great way to build faith in a program no matter what players might be in his corner. 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 and add whomever he sees fit. Worse, Patricia has become known for his team’s inability to finish games and not beat the better teams he faces on the roster.

It’s hard to say why the wins are not translating considering how much the players seem to respect the coach. If it’s a talent issue and a scheme issue, that’s on Patricia as well as general manager Bob Quinn. The fact of the matter is the coach should have a much better record at this point in time if the team is fully in his corner.

Nobody knows if Patricia will survive the season or see 2021 with Detroit, but it’s clear not everyone has given up on him.

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