Under Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions have gotten worse in most major categories

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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Matt Patricia’s job security remains tenuous at best after another lopsided loss, but Patricia declined Monday to say what if anything he has been told by ownership about his future as Detroit Lions coach.

“I mean, look, our focus right now is on Houston,” Patricia said. “Any conversations that I’ve had with ownership, I always keep those private, you guys know that. So from that standpoint, we’ve just got a quick turnaround here, trying to get ready for Houston.”

The Lions have lost three of their past four games, all by double digits, and head into their annual Thanksgiving day game against the Houston Texans tied for last place in the NFC North with a 4-6 record.

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Patricia is 13-28-1 as head coach, with as many losses in 2½ seasons in Detroit as his predecessor, Jim Caldwell, had in four years.

The Lions have declined interview requests for owner Sheila Ford Hamp in recent weeks while speculation has grown that, barring a miraculous run to finish the season, Patricia is down to his final six games in Detroit.

Patricia would not say Monday what he believes is time enough to judge the performance of a coach.

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In his first two seasons with the Lions, he made 10 coordinator or position coach changes, including one at midseason, the firing of special teams coordinator Joe Marciano in 2018.

Along with Marciano, Patricia fired his offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and running backs after the 2018 season. A year later, he fired his second special teams coordinator, John Bonamego, and had turnover at defensive coordinator, offensive line coach, tight ends coach, linebackers coach and defensive backs coach.

“I don’t know (what’s a fair time table),” Patricia said. “I think we just try to go out and work every day. We certainly are, we’re critiqued and judged every day by the job that we’re doing, and we try to improve every day from that standpoint and try to do it better and always try to be the best that we can be. I mean, that’s certainly all that we ask, is that we just go out every day and whether it’s be the best coach or be the best player you can be that day, and try to improve on it the next day.”

The Lions have shown little improvement in any facet of the game under Patricia.

D’Andre Swift still in concussion protocol ahead of Thanksgiving vs. Texans ]


Does Lions’ loss to Carolina prove Matt Patricia is done in Detroit?

Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez talk Nov. 23, 2020, about Matt Patricia’s job security and similarities between the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions.

Currently, they rank 25th in total offense, 29th in rushing offense, 15th in passing offense and 23rd in scoring offense.

In Caldwell’s last season of 2017, the Lions ranked ninth, 32nd, sixth and seventh in the same categories.

Defensively, the Lions rank 25th against the pass, 30th against the run, 27th in yards allowed and tied for 28th in points allowed. Under Caldwell, they were 27th, 18th, 27th and 21st.

Safety Duron Harmon, who played for Patricia with the New England Patriots, defended the job Patricia has done as head coach and insisted “everybody is definitely fully on board with Matt” in the locker room.

“I love Matt,” Harmon said. “I love what he brings to the table as a coach, the passion that he coaches with. The leadership, how smart he is. I love everything about him, but at the end of the day, the only way to take the heat off of anybody and all of us is to win. So only thing that we can focus on and get ready to do is go play our best game of the year against the Texans and get a win, and calm some of this down and try to get a hold of some things, and try to stack a win on top of a win. I think that’s where we’re at right now and that’s what we’re focused on doing.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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