Open-minded decisions make a difference
The key to any winning NFL team starts with their general manager. They have to have the Midas touch in finding the right head coach that can turn a franchise around and be able to work with them towards a goal they both see clearly. Then they have to be able to find play-makers to fill the roster.
Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia claim to be on the same page, but what book are they reading? Quinn has supplied the team with many solid performers, but how many actual difference-makers has he acquired?
Kenny Golladay is a star in the making, but outside of Golladay, the list gets thin. Real thin like who else is there?
Then we must consider his hand-picked choice as the head coach; Matt Patricia. Let me start by saying that Patricia is a smart guy, but his real undoing so far has been his stubbornness. His belief that the ‘Patriot Way’ is the only way has actually held this franchise back.
Consider how bad this defensive genius’ defense was this season. It was his brain-child and he basically took the reigns the second half of the season without hardly any discernible improvement.
However, now that he has basically purged his entire defensive staff, he has an opportunity to open his mind and bring in a defensive coordinator with some fresh ideas that between the two of them could make for a new defensive scheme and ultimately change the results on that side of the ball.
Yes, the Lions need more play-makers on defense, but it should be pointed out that with better use of his personnel, this defense could have been at least average this season. So what does that mean? It means fewer blown leads and the possibility of playing for a postseason berth down the stretch, even with the rampant injury bug that hit this team.
So it is possible that this regime could still turn this ship around? Yes, but it will take a special offseason of shrewd free agent signings and drafting combined with an open-minded approach by Matt Patricia to fill Paul Pasqualoni’s defensive coordinator position with a skilled coach that is allowed to bring changes to the table. Not the ‘good old boy’ system of hiring his old high school coach or someone else that is basically a buddy.
The hiring of Darrell Bevell as the Lions offensive coordinator last offseason was actually brilliant. This was a coach Patricia only knew from watching film to prepare to face Bevell’s offenses. Patricia made an open-minded hire of Bevell after meeting with him and being impressed. The results, while rocky at some points, were impressive with Stafford at the helm and finding a pulse for the ground game down the stretch was a good sign too.
But doing so with a defensive coordinator, since that is Patricia’s side of the ball, will be much more difficult for him. If he can steer clear of any current or former Patriot’s coaches and find someone with good ideas, even or especially if they differ from his would only help the team.