The news that Jim Bob Cooter would no longer be running the Detroit Lions offense elicited quite the reaction from fans everywhere. This of course was followed up by the joy of looking at all the possible candidates available to build the offense into an unstoppable force.
But it was a good friend of mine who was actually worried about the change instead, as he commented to me, ‘The Lions need an innovative offense, not a ‘three yards and cloud of dust’ offense from back in the 1970’s.’
Which means that he was buying into what many in the media believe to be the new direction of the Detroit Lions offense. Run, run, run, then punt if necessary.
I found this very interesting and also short-sighted. One of the things fans have complained about is the desire for general manager Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia to create their own way of making this team a winner instead of trying to bring the ‘Patriot way’ to Detroit.
I think we all agree that the ‘Patriot way’ is just another way of saying ‘the way Bill Belichick does things’. Which only works when you have Bill Belichick and clearly the Detroit Lions do not.
But despite the whole ‘Patriot way’ mantra, this is a good way to understand what Matt Patricia wants from his offense. Just look at the New England Patriots offense. It is much more than ‘three yards and a cloud of dust’. It is also much more than just Tom Brady.
If you look at the past few years, the Patriots have run the same offense regardless of whether Brady was in the lineup or not. Consider that two years ago when Brady was suspended for the first four games of the season, both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett ran the same offense and had pretty good results as the Patriots went 3-1 without Brady.
The point is this; the Patriots don’t just run a vanilla, bland offense. They are a diverse offense that is built around running the ball to control the tempo of games, but are still explosive in their play-calling and willing to run a variety of plays to stretch the field as well.
In other words; they are still a big play offense and that is what Matt Patricia wants the Lions offense to be, despite the emphasis he made in discussing how important the ground game is.