Many players on the Detroit Lions should benefit from Matt Patricia’s coaching ability, but perhaps none will gain more than Jarrad Davis.
If you speak to any of Matt Patricia’s old players from the New England Patriots, they all speak highly of the Detroit Lions‘ newest addition’s ability to teach them how to play the game.
We all know that in the last six seasons while Patricia was the Patriots defensive coordinator, that they always finished among the top 10 scoring defenses in the NFL. He would take whatever players were given to him and create defensive units that always made the big plays and seldom gave up big points.
Now that Patricia has landed in Detroit as the Lions new head coach he has been given a full plate of problems to fix. The offensive line, the ground game and especially the defense.
The Lions entered this past season having given the keys to their defense to rookie middle linebacker Jarrad Davis. He had the responsibility of calling the defenses and making on-field adjustments to opposing offenses while also having to try to live up to the expectations that followed being drafted ahead of Alabama’s talented linebacker Reuben Foster.
After missing two games early in the season due to a concussion he suffered in the Lions Monday night battle against the New York Giants (which was the direct result of an illegal block in the back that wasn’t called), he was able to put together a very solid year considering circumstances.
Those circumstances were of course all the injuries that decimated the defensive line, including defensive tackle Haloti Ngata who was having a tremendous season until he went down in week five.
Great players will make plays in almost all circumstances, but for a rookie that was being asked to be the field general of a defense he was learning on the run, while also having the defensive line in front of him only making the minimal amount of plays, did make the job a little harder.
The part of his game that suffered the most was his pass coverage. As a highly touted play-maker out of the University of Florida, he had been rather adapt in coverage, so there were concerns about his ability to make the transition to the pro game. As a result the Lions tried to ‘simplify’ the defense for him and sat him down on obvious passing plays.