Detroit Lions: Fixing the defense, Matt Patricia charges and roster moves
The Matt Patricia Charges
As of Wednesday night Matt Patricia is under scrutiny for charges brought against him back in 1996. The Lions head coach was indicted on aggravated sexual assault charges in Texas, stemming from an alleged incident that happened on Spring break of that year. A female accuser refused to testify against either Patricia, or his roommate, who were both arrested and charged. The case was dropped afterward.
Patricia has maintained his innocence. Here’s a quote from a Detroit Free Press/ USA Today article which quoted Patricia’s Thursday press conference:
"“As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation,” Patricia said in the statement, which was released by the team according to USA Today. “I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done.”"
The Ford family and the Lions have expressed support for Coach Patricia and are cooperating with the NFL. Some have questioned the Lions front office, especially team president, Rod Wood, for not knowing of the matter prior to Patricia’s hire this year.
In a statement from New England head coach, Bill Belichick, he stated that the Patriots had no knowledge of the former charges while Patricia was there for fourteen years. He further supported Patricia as a coach and “family man.”
At this point, it seems like old news. But if it looks like this information was hidden or suppressed, it could become a bigger issue. If the Lions and Patriots didn’t know about these charges, it should make people ask some important questions regardless of Coach Patricia’s presumed innocence.
As a fan, unless some damning evidence comes out, I would not hold this alleged incident against the coach. It does make me question the Lions front office, which heads up a multi-billion dollar business, though. How do you not know about indictments for alleged, major, violent crimes?
As a father, husband, and son to important women in my life, I would not like to believe that Matt Patricia or any leader of men would be party to violence against women. Matt Patricia deserves the benefit of the doubt unless asked to face his accuser in a court of law. There, he could defend his reputation and refute the charges.