Wednesday was a whirlwind of a day for new Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia. He entered the halls of Allen Park for the first time, met a bunch of new people within the organization and spent a significant amount of time with media members, both in the public press conference and in several individual interviews.
But from the press conference, it was clear Patricia was eager to cut through all the formalities and get to work. “I’m in that mode where there’s a lot of work to be done and not a lot of time to get it done,” Patricia said. And he’s right. Considering the Lions don’t have their full coaching staff in place and Patricia just got into town, there’s a ton of work to do before the NFL Combine in a couple weeks and with free agency looming less than a month away.
So that’s why Patricia wasted no time on Wednesday. For some, the magnitude of being named a head coach for the first time and all of the pomp and circumstance is enough for someone to take a breath and relax once the press conference is over. Just to take everything in for a moment.
Not Matt Patricia, though. In an interview with DetroitLions.com’s Tori Petry, Bob Quinn said he was planning on watching film with Patricia immediately after he was done with his media obligations. “He just coached his last game a couple days ago, so I know he hasn’t had the opportunity to watch as much Lions film as he probably needs to watch,” Quinn admitted. “I know he’s going to hit the ground running, probably in the next couple hours.”
Patricia confirmed that in a separate interview with Petry shortly thereafter. “I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
It’s an important step for Patricia to take, because while he certainly did his research to interview for the job, he has been consumed by the Super Bowl, and as we learned in his initial statement, he puts “every ounce of his energy” into his job. So Patricia will need to quickly get up to speed on the Lions’ personnel to start mapping out a free agency plan with Quinn.
Big free agency decisions loom for the Patricia/Quinn duo, who admitted they would both be “tied at the hip” in terms of personnel moves. Ezekiel Ansah could become a free agent. Eric Ebron has an abnormally high cap it. Tahir Whitehead, Tavon Wilson and Haloti Ngata are also key free agents.
But if there’s anything we know about Patricia, it’s that he’ll get up to speed in no time. As someone who is used to coaching into February, playing catch-up is nothing new to him. And he comes from a Patriots organization who popularized the phrase “No days off.” Patricia is only one day into the job in Detroit, and it’s clear he has already brought that mantra with him.