After the Detroit Lions announced the retainment of head coach Matt Patricia, many have wondered if it was the right move for the organization.
While most fans aren’t experts or football geniuses, they’ve still got an opinion on whether the Detroit Lions bringing back head coach Matt Patricia was the right move. Most are lumping general manager Bob Quinn into this as well, which is fair. Quinn is bringing in the players after all.
Despite the despise for the defensive genius of Patricia and the way he’s taken this defense to an all-time low, here are two solid reasons why keeping him at the helm is the right move.
1. Building a team and a roster for your vision – building a culture – takes time.
How much time? It looks like three years is the minimum the Detroit Lions will give someone. It’s not outlandish to expect three years with a head coach and their new system before everything clicks. In the “win now” NFL, fans expect things to happen much sooner.
A nice example is the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Kyle Shanahan. He started with the team in 2017 and three years later, they’re fighting for the number one seed in the NFC, not just hoping to win their division. Is Patricia the same caliber as Shanahan? I don’t know, but giving Patricia a third year to try and put everything together seems fair when looking at this comparison.
Another interesting thing about this comparison, the 49ers won six games in Shanahan’s first year. Then, in 2018, they regressed to a measly four wins. This is seeming very similar to Detroit’s current situation. What’s happening in Shanahan’s third year? Just 10+ wins and solidified playoff positioning.
Can the same thing happen in Detroit? Maybe. It’s not guaranteed, but we’d never know if Patricia was fired. Hence, bring on year three. If he succeeds, great. If he fails, go ahead and pull out your pitchforks and be ready for another new regime in the Motor City.
2. Umm. Uhh … Okay, you got me.
I can’t think of another really good, solid reason to keep Patricia around for his third year. Maybe he (or ownership) just needs that third year to prove that he’s on the right track? That things are actually going to get better?
The move to keep Patricia around is all about seeing if consistency pays off. And the truth is, nobody knows and nobody will know 100 percent what will happen unless he gets that chance. Like it or not, fans will get the chance to find out if Patricia is on par with Shanahan.
But don’t call this a lame-duck season. If the buy-in is there or not doesn’t completely matter either. Every new year is a new chance to win. Players play this game to win (thanks Herm Edwards). There’s no reason to believe these players won’t be giving it their all to try and make the playoffs, especially if they buy into Patricia’s coaching style and vision.
Obviously expectations for next season will be much higher than the Detroit Lions current performance in 2019. That’s never been a question. How it shakes out is yet to be seen.