The ‘my way or the highway’ approach is a difficult one to use in sports today. It’s not just an issue in the NFL, but the NBA, MLB and even the NHL. So the balancing act of the modern day coach is to try to win the respect of their players and get them to buy into their system.
Something that is easier when the coach has a winning track record.
Matt Patricia is basically a blank canvas as a coach. How successful or unsuccessful he will be is yet to be written. Yes he has contributed to the NFL’s most recent dynasty’s success, but he is still in the process of molding his own success.
So how will these seasoned veterans handle his approach? After all, coaching 30 to 35 year old men is different than a 21 or 22 year old rookie. Are these veterans already resenting the extra curricular sprints he has them running?
For anyone not in the locker room, we have to simply go by what feedback we get from the players. So far Patricia’s players have been repeating his message about taking it one day at a time and getting better each day almost verbatim.
The way they talk about the expectations to be perfect in everything they do has become a mantra that they answer with as unconsciously as they breathe.
It has been with a combination of humor and thoughtful answers that the Lions have expressed their opinions on the discipline wind sprints they have been subjected to. One of the most popular words used to describe ‘Camp Patricia’ has been the word ‘intensity’.
Matt Patricia has been the poster boy for that ‘intensity’ he is bringing to the Lions practices and rather than resenting it, these players seem to understand it.
Good players that are focused in on winning titles understand that the only way to achieve that goal is through hard work. Those have been the types of players that Patricia has coached in the past and those would be the type of players that he and Bob Quinn are trying to fill the Lions roster with.
Whether the Detroit Lions have enough talent to truly be a contender yet is certainly up for debate, but at the very least they seem to have players that understand what Matt Patricia is doing. Players that want to win and are willing to work towards that goal. Players that are buying into the ‘Patricia way’.