Matt Patricia officially named next head coach of Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has accepted the role of head coach for the Detroit Lions as expected on Monday afternoon.

Less than 24 hours after the New England Patriots lost Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles 41-33, New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has been named the next head coach of the Detroit Lions. This was an expected hire, as the Lions remained one of the last two NFL teams with a vacancy at head coach.

Patricia had been with the Patriots organization since 2004 as an offensive assistant. He worked his way up through the coaching ranks, becoming head coach Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator in 2012. While the Patriots struggled defensively in 2017, it was time for Patricia to get his first head coaching opportunity. He takes over a team that went 9-7 and barely missed the NFC playoffs in Detroit.

So why would Patricia leave a good thing in New England to go to a franchise that has never even appeared in a Super Bowl? Two reasons. The first is that he will be working with former Patriots from office executive Bob Quinn. Those two struck up a strong working relationship together in Foxborough.

The second would be that Detroit already has a franchise quarterback in Mathew Stafford and a good roster largely built by Quinn. In essence, the Lions can contend for a playoff spot right away with Patricia coming aboard. It really all depends on who he hires as his coordinators.

Given that Patricia is an defensive-minded coach, it would serve him to retain offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter on his staff. Cooter has done great work with Stafford in their last few years of working together. Patricia can be more selective in who he has as defensive coordinator, as that is the side of the ball he specializes on. This does look to be one of the better hires of the coaching carousel in 2018.

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