So while there are some who are wondering whether Matt Patricia is capable of leading the Lions to greatness, the real question isn’t so much about Patricia’s philosophy or ability to reach his players, but it’s about having the players that are talented enough to execute his system.
For those who want to toss in the concept of players buying into the system, that falls under the category of success breeds success. Win games and the players will buy in. It’s no different for any of us. If something doesn’t seem to be working, we’ll usually try a new approach. If it is working, then we’ll ride it as long as we can.
But in professional sports, it still comes back to talent.
Last season Lions’ fans had great expectations. They were coming off of back to back 9-7 seasons and were ready to take the next step with better coaching and a better scheme. At least that was thought process.
However, when the Lions basically dismantled their defensive line and were signing players off the street just before the opener, that was a bad sign.
Trading Golden Tate, then losing Marvin Jones to injury revealed how much thinner they were at receiver than any of us believed. And just having warm bodies on the roster at tight end wasn’t enough to create production.
No one wants to hear excuses, but there were a couple of things that stood out about last seasons failures. Yes, there was a steeper learning curve than Matt Patricia or the fans expected, but by seasons end his defense was the 10th best overall in the NFL.
The cupboard was not as full of talent as we believed. At least not the type of talent to run Patricia’s scheme and when injuries did occur, very few players stepped up and did the job they had to. Truth be told, they were actually kind of fortunate to have finished 6-10.
So how will this coming season be any different?