Detroit Lions change in defensive philosophy is welcome

Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

No pressure equals bad defense

Three years ago former general manager Bob Quinn hired his old buddy from New England, Matt Patricia, to turnaround the Lions’ fortunes. We weren’t sure what he would do to improve the offense, but at least it was suspected he would revitalize the defense.

Boy, were we wrong.

Patricia, the former trusted aid to the dean of NFL coaches, Bill Belichick, brought a simple defensive philosophy with him. It was his belief that if the Lions ran his golden system, then all of Detroit’s defensive woes would disappear.

Instead, somehow or another, no matter how hard his players worked it failed week in and week out. The Patriot’s defensive scheme is considered to be complex and not easy to master. However, Patricia’s hand-picked band of ex-Patriots could not execute to the level they did in their former habitat.

Probably the most disconcerting part of the Lions’ defensive failure was what seemed to be an almost complete aversion to pressuring opposing passers. Whenever the lack of pass-rush was brought up, Patricia would simply say they needed to work harder.

The fact that the Lions under Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia never drafted a pass-rusher when they had the opportunity hurt, but when Patricia all but refused to blitz despite the fact that his defensive line couldn’t get pressure on its own, that doomed the secondary to find a way to cover NFL receivers for longer than is even close to reasonable.

Plain and simple; no pressure equals bad defense, which equals losses regardless of how talented the offense is.

For Patricia to believe that all his players had to do is show up and run his system just goes to show how in over his head he was. While innovative coaching is still important, in the modern NFL it’s all about the players.

Stock your team with talent and put that talent in a position to succeed. Unlike Matt Patricia’s beloved defensive system, which certainly seemed to be allergic to getting close to opposing quarterbacks, the new defensive philosophy in the Motor City is one that fans should be excited about.