Last year when general Manager Bob Quinn brought Matt Patricia to Detroit as the Lions new head coach, they already had enough familiarity with each other that there was no question as to which direction this organization would be headed. The unfortunate thing was that Lions fans were told this team was ready to win and losing was unacceptable.
Then came last seasons disappointment.
Some fans are still holding Quinn’s words against the franchise, but the fact of the matter is this; the Lions didn’t have the personnel to successfully run Patricia’s defense. Combined with getting a late start on matters since the Lions couldn’t hire Patricia until after the Super Bowl, that made the pickings more difficult to fill out his coaching staff.
When aligned with this being Patricia’s first time as a head coach on any level, I think those factors played a significant role in the decision to keep Jim Bob Cooter as the offensive coordinator.
As we all know the Lions fell far short of expectations. The offense struggled all season and after releasing the majority of the previous seasons’ defensive line to replace them with anyone that remotely looked like they could play Patricia’s defense, it did finally improve in the second half of the season after the addition of Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison.
There weren’t as many bright spots as the fans would have liked, but what needs to be pointed out is that the whole process this franchise went through last season was pivotal to building what Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia envision for this franchise.
Because the identity they want the Lions to have is that of a physical team. In order to live up to the identity of what you want your franchise to be, you have to have the players that can execute your system the way it has to be run.
You want a fast team, you better have fast players, you want a physical team, you better have physical players. That right there is the difference between the Jim Caldwell administration and what Matt Patricia is now trying to accomplish.