Detroit Lions: You fired Jim Caldwell for this?
The honeymoon period for new head coach Matt Patricia in Motown could be over soon if the Detroit Lions are suddenly now in rebuilding mode.
Following the Detroit Lions loss in their final preseason game of the year, a 35-17 romping by the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, head coach Matt Patricia had some interesting things to say about his new team and their preseason struggles.
Patricia explained how hard the Lions are working and that these growing pains are all part of a longer journey, something that is going to take time. Surely, that’s not music to the ears of fans.
The Lions fired former head coach Jim Caldwell the day after the 2017 regular season concluded. That was despite the fact Caldwell had brought unprecedented success to the Motor City during his four-year tenure.
Detroit posted a winning record three times under Caldwell’s short reign and made two playoff appearances. The fact he was unable to win in the postseason was believed to be the biggest reason for his dismissal.
With the hiring of Patricia earlier this year, the Lions were making a clear statement. They are no longer satisfied with being good. They want to be great. And that means success in the playoffs. That is why the former New England Patriots defensive coordinator is now at the helm of the franchise.
Patricia and his Patriots went to six-straight AFC Championship Games prior to his departure to Motown. Together they played in three Super Bowls within that span, winning two.
That’s why the Lions hired Patirica. That’s why general manager Bob Quinn tied his fate to his old friend from his years in New England. And this is a winning team in Detroit. Patricia was supposed to improve on them, not rebuild them. But here’s what the first-time head coach told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein following the game Thursday night.
"“They understand that this is a long journey. This isn’t a sprint that is going to take place overnight. This is something that is going to take a long time to do. This is something that is a change in the way that we’re doing things in order to try and make it a sustainable situation … We have a long way to go and we’ll continue to do that.”"
Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds a lot like someone who is trying to rebuild from the ground up and not simply trying to improve on a team that went 9-7 last season, just missing a playoff berth. If Patricia was a contractor who flipped houses, he’d apparently be the guy who knocked down all the walls rather than just applying a new coat of paint.
It honestly sounds like the Lions are preparing for a down season in 2018. And that’s extremely disappointing.
Bottom line is if Matt Patricia is in rebuilding mode than Detroit Lions fans were sold an AMC Gremlin rather than the postseason Bugatti they were promised. If the Lions fail to hit the 9-7 mark in 2018, there will surely be rumblings about the firing of Jim Caldwell. I can hear it now. You fired Caldwell for this???