This Detroit Lions roster is different from those we’ve seen in the past. Their success will be dependent on more than just thinking outside the box.
During the Matt Patricia era, the Lions were a different team. Maybe not terribly different from before the former Patriot’s defensive coordinator rode into town and helped run a playoff team into the ground, but it was different from what we see today.
The ideal that Patricia had in mind as he and former general manager Bob Quinn started deconstructing the Lions roster and trying their best to get their hands on any former Patriot they could, was the New England blueprint. Patricia’s philosophy was ‘my Patriot way or the highway’.
Needless to say, it not only didn’t work, but it collapsed horribly costing both Patricia and Quinn their jobs. But if we’re honest, was it Patricia’s vision or poor execution of that vision that caused the Lions to crash and burn under his guidance?
When we think of the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick, we think of a multifaceted defense that controls the line of scrimmage and creates mismatches. On offense, finding mismatches still apply, but again it starts at the line of scrimmage.
Bill Belichick has been a genius at creating success in the trenches, therefore opening up opportunities for his team to be consistent contenders. Having Tom Brady at quarterback was huge because it gave him the field general with ice water in his veins that made the offense click and motivated the team as well.
In the end, while the ‘Patriot way’ under Belichick has been innovative and superbly run by him, it succeeded because of his ability to find talented players that were able to execute his vision and system. Matt Patricia had the Patriot vision in his head but was more caught up in the importance of his system than the players involved.
For Matt Patricia, that belief in his system over having play-makers, as well as what appeared to be the inability to properly coach his players to execute at any kind of a decent level, led to his dismissal from Detroit. Rocket science that went array.
Ironically, the Lions now have a new regime that believes in the importance of strength in the trenches and is already building a team that should be pretty good at the point of attack. It’s outside the box where all the questions begin.