The Lions fired Matt Patricia, but Trey Flowers thinks he deserves another shot.
Patricia’s Lions tenure was defined by failures at just about every level. It sure doesn’t help that he replaced a coach in Jim Caldwell who was surprisingly let go after a 10-win season. In his near-three seasons at the helm, Patricia never once flirted with that mark.
Yet, not every Lions player was as disgusted with Patricia as fans and management. Trey Flowers, who goes way back with Patricia (to his New England days), thinks the Belichick disciple deserves another chance.
“His way, he won and was successful with his way,” Flowers told the Detroit Free Press. “So if he feels as though his way can work, should work, and he wanted to continue to demonstrate things his way, then he would do that. And he’s been very successful doing things his way, so whether he would change it up or not, I’m not sure. That’s up to him, but he was successful.”
Patricia was beloved in New England. So what went wrong in Motown?
Ultimately, Patricia’s hard-nosed mentality didn’t mesh with the Lions approach. He made enemies on his own roster, and even after trading them away, couldn’t replace that production (see: Darius Slay). His 13-29-1 record didn’t help matters, either, as Flowers clearly notes.
“If you don’t win. then things are subject to changes, things are subject to happen,” Flowers said.
To put it simply — a head coach’s main job in the NFL is to win games. If they fail to do so, eventually the small upgrades aren’t enough. In Patricia’s case, the Lions managed to lose in excruciating fashion. They showed a lack of confidence late in games, and that’s reflective of coaching.
Patricia should take his first head coaching tenure as a learning experience. He failed at many leadership aspects — things that don’t necessarily fall under the defensive coordinator umbrella — and failed to adjust over the course of two-plus seasons.
He’ll likely get another chance as a defensive coordinator next year, but unless he makes some simple adjustments to his coaching style, he won’t be a successful head man.