Lions' hiring of Matt Patricia deserves higher spot on list of worst hires

Matt Patricia was obviously ill-suited to be a head coach, so his spot on a list of the worst coaching hires in NFL history is secure until further notice.
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When Bob Quinn was hired as Detroit Lions general manager in 2016, it was just a matter of time before he hired "his guy" as head coach. His roots with the New England Patriots pointed to Matt Patricia, who was the latest riser from Bill Belichick's coaching tree.

A 9-7, non-playoff season in 2017 was the final push for the change, and Patricia was hired to replace Jim Caldwell in 2018.

It still seems surreal that Patricia lasted less than three full seasons as the Lions' head coach. A blowout loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving Day in 2020, thankfully with no fans in attendance at Ford Field due to COVID-19, was the last straw. Patricia and Quinn were fired the next day.

From running good players out of town, to calling out a media member's posture when it often looked like he had reached to the bottom of his laundry hamper for that day's outfit. to that pretentious pencil over his ear to try to show the world how smart he is. Oh, and legitimately making agents for free agents not want to engage with the Lions.

Patricia proved to simply not be head coach material, and the Lions found that out the hard way.

Lions' hiring of Matt Patricia probably should have higher place on list of worst coaching hires

It's the time of year on the NFL calendar to rank things. Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network has ranked the 10 worst coaching hires in NFL history. Just one Lions' hiring, Rod Marinelli in 2006, is on the list of honorable mention, though there would seem to be other candidates (Marty Mornhinweg, for one).

No. 1 on the list is unassailable. Everyone could see it coming that Urban Meyer was not going to succeed as an NFL head coach, and the Jacksonville Jaguars acknowledged their error before the 2021 season was over.

No. 2 is the Denver Broncos' hiring of Nathaniel Hackett. No. 3 is Bobby Petrino, another college coach who was destined the fail and the Atlanta Falcons found out the hard way. Hue Jackson, No. 4, somehow lasted into a third season with the Cleveland Browns despite going 1-31 in his first two seasons.

No. 5 is one NFL fans of a certain age won't remember, as the Cincinnati Bengals fell for the lore of the Shula surname to hire legendary coach Don Shula's son David.

No. 6 is the New York Giants' hiring of another former Patriots' assistant, Joe Judge.
Patricia comes in at No. 7.

"Many of Bill Belichick’s former underlings have attempted to instill the New England Patriots’ way of doing things with other organizations, and it typically hasn’t gone well."

"Matt Patricia was no exception. The ex-Patriots DC’s reign as the Lions’ head coach featured one disaster after another. Patricia’s domineering approach backfired, leading to a toxic relationship with the Lions’ locker room."

"Detroit had gone 9-7 under former head coach Jim Caldwell in 2017. The club regressed to 6-10 under Patricia in 2018, then won just eight games over the next two seasons before he and general manager Bob Quinn were fired."

"Patricia’s Lions lost 15 games by double digits and dropped nine contests in which they held 10+ point leads."

There's a case for the Lions' hire of Patricia to be higher than No. 7. It's hard to rank such overall ineptitude of coaching hires, but top-five feels proper even without Honolulu Blue-shaded glasses.


Next. Ranking the Top 5 Detroit Lions head coaches of all-time. Ranking the Top 5 Detroit Lions head coaches of all-time. dark