Former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia is going back to the New England Patriots. Patricia will reportedly “assist the Patriots coaching staff in a variety of roles,” according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe.
With the move, Patricia returns to the team that made him a head coaching candidate. Prior to joining the Lions in 2018, Patricia spent 14 years with the Patriots. He started out as an offensive assistant and offensive line coach before transitioning to defense. Patricia coached linebackers for five seasons in New England before becoming the team’s safeties coach for one year.
In 2012, Patricia was named the Patriots’ defensive coordinator. He held that role until he was hired by the Lions. The Patriots’ defense ranked in the top-10 in points allowed in all six seasons under Patricia. The team also won two Super Bowls during that period.
Matt Patricia struggled as Lions head coach
Patricia was unable to carry that success over to the Lions. In three seasons with the team, Patricia compiled a 13-29-1 record. The Lions’ defense regressed under Patricia. The team ranked 16th in points against in 2018, 26th in points against in 2019 and dead last in points against in 2020. Patricia was fired by the Lions following a 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving.
Following his firing, Patricia wasn’t mentioned in rumors for head coach openings around the league. The Texans are the only team without a head coach after the Philadelphia Eagles announced the hiring of Nick Sirianni on Thursday. It doesn’t appear the Texans interviewed Patricia for the job.
If Patricia is hoping to be a head coach again, going back to New England makes sense. He’s familiar with how the team operates under Bill Belichick, and has been successful with the team in the past. If he can recapture that magic, it’s possible Patricia could once again emerge as a head coaching candidate.
While that might seem impossible considering how Patricia’s stint in Detroit ended, it’s exactly what happened with Josh McDaniels.
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