It’s been clear from the beginning of the Detroit Lions coaching search that one of their favorite candidates—if not, the favorite candidate—is Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. However, according to one NFL reporter, that feeling may not be as mutual as previously thought.
In Detroit, I hear Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is the choice over Houston’s defensive boss, Mike Vrabel—but Patricia favors the Giants. If the Giants give the nod to Patricia, Detroit could be Vrabel’s job.
If this is the case, it puts the Lions in a conundrum. Wait out on Patricia, given that it’s no guarantee he lands in Detroit, or go with your (perceived) second choice Mike Vrabel and start building your coaching staff now before key offseason events like the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl?
Of course, this all hangs on what the Giants are interested in doing. Many believe their favorite candidate is Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who they interviewed with on Tuesday. New York has also interviewed Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, while former Broncos running back coach Eric Studesville is expected to interview with the team on Wednesday.
Of course, the Lions could simply wait out the Giants’ decision, which may come in the next few days. If it’s clear they, too, are leaning Patricia—though remember, they won’t be able to officially announce a hire until after the Patriots are out of the playoffs—then the Lions should pull the trigger on Vrabel. If the Giants decide to go with Wilks or any of their other candidates, then Detroit should be able to wait it out for Patricia risk-free.