It’s been a long seven months since the Detroit Lions hired Matt Patricia to be their new head coach. Patricia has had to deal with a scandal, an underwhelming free agency period, baseless rumors of losing the team, an uninspiring preseason followed up by two of the ugliest regular season games we’ve see this team play in years.
But after Sunday’s night shocking victory over his former team—the seven-point favorite New England Patriots,—Patricia got the moment he’s been waiting for: His first career win as an NFL head coach.
This would be an emotional moment for any new head coach, but this one, after already going through so many hardships, had to feel special. However, Patricia downplayed the moment in his post-game presser.
“I’m just happy for the guys. I think they’re the ones that deserve it,” Patricia said Sunday night. “They’re the ones that have been working really hard and I’m glad they got an opportunity to enjoy this.”
But it’s clear the feeling was mutual. The Detroit Lions caught video of the locker room celebration after the game, and the players clearly felt Patricia deserved the win as well. Check out this awesome moment after the game:
First there’s the awkward high-five/handshake with Rod Wood, because... Rod Wood. Then there’s the emotional hug with fellow former Patriot and now Lions general manager Bob Quinn. Then the party is on with his team. T.J. Lang, Jamal Agnew, LeGarrette Blount and Ricky Jean Francois among many others just pile on top of Patricia like they were celebrating a division title.
“Is this fun?” Patricia asked his team after the mob died down. “This is exactly what we needed, right? I’m so proud of you guys, I love ya. I believe in you, but we got to keep stacking these togethers, cause we gotta roll now.”
Then Matthew Stafford presented Patricia with the game ball and another big hug. “I’m so proud of you, man,” Stafford can be heard saying in Patricia’s ear.
Then coach breaks it down.
“I love standing in front of you every single day now, and I appreciate it, and I count my blessings to be in this locker room right now. Keep working, keep digging, man. We got a long way to go, but we’re going to keep pushing.”
So much for losing the team.