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Lions head coach Matt Patricia is already impressing at the NFL Combine

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In the midst of hundreds of NFL prospects, it’s Matt Patricia who has shined thus far.

Detroit Lions Introduce Matt Patricia Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NFL Combine is usually a place for young college players turn heads and impress, but just a few days into the event it’s new Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia who is earning rave reviews.

Patricia had his second press conference as the Detroit Lions head coach on Wednesday, and it was a big hit. 96 percent of Lions fans were impressed with how Patricia handled the media, according to our Thursday daily poll.

Of course, it’s easy for a new coach to impress his fanbase. There is no group of people more hopeful than the fans of an NFL team with a new head coach.

But Patricia is turning heads all around the league. Take, for example, Arthur Arkush, managing editor for Pro Football Weekly and NFC North writer. “A new Lions era is underway,” Arkush wrote on Thursday. “And it’s easy to get excited that such a smart, forward-thinking leader is forging their path.”

Arkush was particularly enamored with Patricia’s innovative mind when it came to debunking such old cliches, like the 4-3/3-4 debate or the perceived importance of being a “balanced” team.

“I think what you’re going to do is you’re going to do whatever it takes that week to win,” Patricia said on Wednesday. “You know, we’ve been in situations before, whether it was New England or whatever, we knew running the ball wasn’t going to work, so we had to throw it 50 times to win. We knew that in other situations we weren’t going to be able to throw the ball 50 times, so we had to run the ball 30+ times to win.”

You may be thinking to yourself, “Who cares? Talk is cheap.” Well, while it’s certainly true that Patricia will be judged on what he does not what he says, there is value in how Patricia carries himself this week. Jeff Howe of the Boston Globe points out that Patricia’s performance at the combine could already be paying off for the Lions:

The NFL Combine is a common place for teams to interact with each other. It’s also a place where not-so-legal conversations take place between teams and agents. If Patricia can work his charm to entice players and other general managers to work with him, it could result in the influx of talent this team needs to take the next step.

So while this week is really about the NFL prospects working to improve their draft stock, Matt Patricia may be having the best NFL Combine of anyone thus far.