This is where Matt Patricia came in last offseason. He was fresh off six years as the New England Patriots defensive coordinator. All of which saw the Patriots go as far as the AFC title game and three times ending at the Super Bowl.
That’s not even taking into account all that he had been a part of the eight previous years he was an assistant in New England before becoming the defensive coordinator.
Matt Patricia has seen and been a part of more winning in just 14 seasons in New England than the Lions have seen in their history. That’s even including the fact that the Lions were the team of the 1950s winning three championships overall including two out of three against the Cleveland Browns who were also a major powerhouse.
So the idea was natural, we plug in Matt Patricia and the winning will start. It seemed like it was that simple.
But I guess for those of us who know our Lions history we should have realized that it’s never that easy.
Matt Patricia’s maiden voyage as a head coach, on any level, was turbulent. He had little time to assemble his coaching staff, especially since the candidates were all well picked over, and everything seemed to become a rush.
I also don’t think he was prepared for a roster that was on the fringe of being a playoff team one season earlier, having so few players that fit his system.
I’ve heard some fans just calling it another bad hire, but I don’t believe the hire was as bad as the fit. The need for change was the problem. If Matt Patricia was going to coach this team as he saw fit, there had to be a lot of change in player personnel and he needed coaches more capable of shaping this roster into his vision.
The only alternative would have been to ask Matt Patricia to ditch his own core beliefs and try to be Jim Caldwell, which would have made no sense whatsoever. Nor would it have worked since no head coach has ever been successful without being true to their own philosophy.
Patricia was brought here to do things his way which meant that the winds of change were going to be blowing through the entire organization.