When I think about what that radio personality said the other day in regards to this season being even more disappointing than the others, I really felt like it summed up the general mood of Lions fans everywhere.
However, to me, there isn’t any mystery why this particular season is so much more disappointing than all the others. It all comes down expectations.
Let’s be honest again, we’ve had seasons in the past that certainly opened with great optimism. The fact that they all ended in failure was disappointing, but that has never been an anomaly. It’s just what happens to the Lions every year one way or another.
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In the case of this season, the Lions had a general manager the fans believed in. During Bob Quinn’s two previous seasons with the Lions, he raised the talent level of this franchise and made believers of the fans. His approval ratings were through the roof.
So when he decided to relieve Jim Caldwell of the Lions head coaching duties because he felt this team was underachieving, the fans embraced the idea of Bob Quinn bringing in his own choice to coach the team.
Fans had been so enamored with his ability to find talent for the team, that they were sure that this would be the greatest coup of them all.
When you consider that Matt Patricia was a hot commodity among teams searching for a head coach and Bob Quinn’s first choice, this was considered the biggest win for this team since December 28, 1957, when the Lions routed the Cleveland Browns 59-14 to become champions of the NFL.
It has been all downhill since then until Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia officially teamed up to lead the Lions back to glory.
The expectations simply went above and beyond reasonable. If any of you wonder why you’re so disappointed, that’s why. Too much expectation.
Now as someone who picked them to find their way into the playoffs, I’m as guilty as anyone else. What we didn’t foresee was how poorly this team was constructed to run Matt Patricia’s system. We were so busy counting our championships before they were hatched, that we never considered how much turnover needed to occur before this team could possibly be ready to fulfill Patricia’s vision of what he expects, much less our own.
That doesn’t even include sending players that aren’t all on board with Patricia and his system packing as well.
It’s far too early to pull the plug on the Matt Patricia era. But he needs to believe in himself and his system. He doesn’t need to come up with prepared statements about why they practice outside or anything else they do. Simply tell the press it was a coaching decision and move on.
I agree with every other Lions fan that this season has been a disaster, but I don’t see it as the complete story. Next season should tell us much more about this team and where they are headed.
Without the right personnel on the roster that also buys into Patricia’s system, there is no hope. Another offseason should help on both accounts. At that point, if nothing changes, then the fans can start grabbing their torches and pitchforks because the answer will be evident.
Until then Matt Patricia needs to do the best he can with what he has and not waste time with what the media or anyone else is saying.