After the Detroit Free Press released a story claiming Matt Patricia was consistently late to team meetings according to an anonymous former player, the Detroit Lions head coach was under fire yet again in the midst of a disappointing inaugural 5-10 season.
On Friday, Patricia addressed the rumors towards the end of his press conference. At first, he basically dismissed the comments coming from outside the organization.
“I would say I don’t really focus too much of what’s said outside the building or somebody that’s not here,” Patricia said (as mercifully transcribed by The Athletic’s Chris Burke). “We have a lot of really good dialect—I think I’ve said this before—inside the building and what happens behind closed doors for our team as an organization. There’s a lot of feedback from the players and the staffs and the coaches, and everyone’s held accountable.”
But as Patricia’s answer continued, he did admit that his commitment to whatever problem is in front of him potentially opens up the possibility of being a minute or two late.
“There’s a situation where somebody comes to you with a problem, I try to address that problem as the most important thing for me at that time, which I do and spend the time to make sure I clear that up, whatever it is, in whatever facet of the organization,” Patricia said. “Sometimes that happens and you might be a couple seconds late to something here or there, but it’s a standpoint where with that sort of schedule you have to be able to adapt.”
Aside from his own meetings, Patricia has also been consistently late to meetings with the media and has been known to change up schedules for both the team and media the night before, but Patricia maintains he works on a regimented schedule.
“We have a very tight schedule, we run a very structured schedule, and in those situations, it’s constantly being evaluated and there’s constant feedback coming back to try to improve it from that situation.”
It’s worth noting that time management can be one of the tougher things to grasp as a first-time head coach. Take this quote from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan:
Certainly not defending Matt Patricia in the Great Punctuality War, but it did make me recall a conversation I had with Kyle Shanahan at this year’s league meetings.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 27, 2018
I asked what the toughest adjustment was for him as a first-year head coach. His answer: time management. pic.twitter.com/6qvnTYf649
It reads: “It overwhelms you at first, just cause we’re all pretty regimented, and you ahve certain things you do at certain times of year, and you’ve got to adjust that. You get used to it, but it definitely takes a few months.”