With Saturday night’s report from NFL Network, it appears the writing is on the wall for Jim Caldwell. His four-year tenure as the Detroit Lions coach is almost certainly coming to an end after the team’s season finale against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
So far, the only noise coming from the rumor mill on Detroit’s next head coach is surrounding the Matt Patricia camp. The Patriots defensive coordinator has been linked to the Lions by several sources and apparently there have been constant rumblings from inside the league that Detroit is focusing their efforts on him.
While things are far from finished at this point, and one would hope Lions GM Bob Quinn would do his due diligence before making a decision, let’s take a poll of the fanbase before any decision is made. Today’s Question of the Day is:
Would you approve of the Lions choosing Matt Patricia to be their next head coach?
My answer: It would take some convincing to win me over. I’ll give you three reasons why I’m against a Patricia-led Lions and two reasons I’m okay with it.
Why I’m not a fan
- His success is built on a mountain of lies. Whenever someone defends Patricia and his defense, they invariably bring up this stat, regarding New England’s points per game allowed rankings since he’s taken over:
BUUUUUUUUUUUUT— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 30, 2017
Here are the Patriots' rankings in points allowed since Patricia took over:
However, the DVOA rankings of his defensive units are much more pedestrian and the reasoning for the high ranking in scoring defense may have little to do with the defense at all. Consider that the Patriots’ offense has ranked in the top two in turnovers in every one of Patricia’s seasons at defensive coordinator, except for one (2013, 8th). That means that they’re hardly ever putting the defense in a tough spot.
In fact, they’re almost always putting the defense in the best position to succeed. According to Football Outsiders’ drive stats, the Patriots defense has had to work with a top-3 best field position in every season of Patricia’s career at defensive coordinator, except for one (6th in 2012). If offenses are starting much deeper in their own territory, it stands to reason they’ll score fewer points against this Patriots defense.
2. Bob Quinn doesn’t appear to be doing his due diligence. If Quinn picks Patricia, it’ll seem like he never really even entertained any options. That kind of stubborness could get a general manager in trouble. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have a plan in place after firing your head coach, but if Quinn doesn’t at least interview a handful of other candidates, it will look like—at least on the surface—that he never even considered anyone else. I’m not a fan of that.
3. The Patriots’ defense is terrible right now. Granted New England is missing a ton of talent due to injury, but Patricia hasn’t been able to make the most of a hobbled unit. We talk about New England’s “next man up” mantra a lot, but that doesn’t seem to be working on that side of the ball. Just look at these stats:
YPC allowed: 4.8 (31nd)
Y/A allowed: 7.4 (t-25th)
Yards per play allowed: 5.8 (31st)
DVOA: 12.0% (32nd)
Now despite that, the Patriots rank seventh in points per game allowed, but for the reasons stated above, that’s a bit of fool’s gold.
Why I like him
- I like the idea of a streamlined consciousness. When we look at how the Patriots are built, we often talk about how they’re all on the same page from the top of the franchise to the bottom. Quinn is clearly trying to build something similar, which is why he has already replaced nearly the entire scouting team, and he’s completely changed the strength and conditioning programs—even down to what the players are consuming on site.
Pretty much the only thing that Quinn hasn’t touched yet is the coaching staff. Working aside Patricia for nearly his entire professional career, Quinn can be sure that he’ll buy into the system he’s trying to build.
2. Matt Patricia has been Bill Belichick’s right hand man. Just read this.
Would you approve of the Lions hiring Matt Patricia as their next head coach?
This poll is closed