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T.J. Lang on Matt Patricia era: ‘Expectations are very high’

Matt Patricia is already more demanding of his players in practice.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Minicamp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

This week at minicamp, Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia made an impression, both with the players and the local media. After years of a stoic head coach like Jim Caldwell, Patricia has stood out with both his demeanor and his practicing habits.

Some have noted his colorful language. Others point to the running drills he uses as punishment for poor play. The players, however, have noticed something else. His increased expectations from them

“I think the one thing that sticks out is expectations are high,” Lang said during an entertaining interview with NFL Network. “We realize that we’ve got a short offseason. We’re going to be in training camp and before you know it, we’ll be playing in preseason games. So we don’t have a lot of time to waste. We expect to go out there every day and be on top of the things and get it right.”

Lang’s linemate, Graham Glasgow, expanded on what exactly the expectations are for this team right now.

“I think what it comes down to is he wants us to win every week,” Glasgow said of Patricia. “And I think what it comes down to us is winning as many games as we possibly can. Building off of what T.J. said in less words, I just believe that there’s a sense of urgency here.”

Many have noted just how hard Patricia has run practices this week. The Lions won’t actually be using all 10 of their allotted OTA practices, but many have noted the pace and intensity of each practice has increased, especially when it comes to additional sprinting.

Lang says the players have responded well to that increase in intensity.

“It let’s guys know that this isn’t a time to slack off,” Lang said. “This isn’t intramural ball. We’re out here playing. We’re out here practicing, and we’re trying to get it right.”

Earlier in the week, Patricia noted that conditioning was high on the priority list at this point in the offseason. After being asked if there’s anything specifically he’s looking for from his players, this is how he responded:

“The biggest thing for me right now is how is our conditioning going, how are we doing as far as getting in shape and getting ready to go for training camp.”

So there appears to be a method to his madness. And while it’s undoubtedly an adjustment to the players, it’s one they appear to be buying into. We’ll see if that stands true if and when adversity hits.

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