Lions players might celebrate Matt Patricia’s firing with champagne.
The Patriot Way doesn’t always work with other teams — it’s why few if any Bill Belichick assistants have seen much success since leaving New England. Matt Patricia is a classic example. Patricia’s defensive mind made for an attractive fit with the Detroit Lions. At the time, Detroit fired Jim Caldwell coming off of a 10-win season.
Patricia has struggled to replicate Caldwell’s success, and has at times feuded with Lions players in the locker room. On perhaps his last stand, the stories coming out of MoTown regarding Patricia’s tenure are often beyond belief.
Kalyn Kahler’s in-depth reporting of the Lions players’ animosity towards Patricia (at least at times) is stunning, obvious and often collective.
Some Lions players will celebrate if Patricia is shown the door
Professional football players aren’t rooting for failure, but a consolation prize to missing the playoffs this season will likely be the firing of Patricia. The Lions have extended his leash far too often.
Patricia seems to have a lack of understanding for his team. While he can diagnose an opposing offense better than most, Patricia’s people skills are lacking at times, and he struggles to connect with his players on a personal level.
Without that personal connection, the respect level between players and coaching staff is nonexistent. Patricia found that out the hard way.
No story further exemplifies that than the end of the 2018 season, when the Lions, led by Glover Quinn, drank mimosas out of solo cups to celebrate a looming summer without Patricia, and dealing with his version of the Patriot Way.
Patricia doesn’t have the same rep and caché as Belichick. Without that, players don’t feel as obligated to listen and follow through with the program, since there’s no evidence it’ll even work.
So far in Detroit, Patricia’s offered little proof of the alternative.