Not that he deserves another year calling offensive plays for the Patriots, but Matt Patricia may be unemployed in part because the Lions are no longer paying him.
Sometimes, whatever the cost might be to move on, it’s worth it. The Detroit Lions surely felt that way just after Thanksgiving in 2020, when they fired head coach Matt Patricia and the man who made the mistake of hiring him, general manager Bob Quinn.
Patricia spent last season back in New England working under Bill Belichick. This year, after offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, the former Lions head coach and Patriots’ defensive coordinator became the favorite to call offensive plays.
When the choices are Patricia or Joe Judge, who was back on New England’s coaching staff after being fired as head coach of the New York Giants, to call plays, there is no good choice.
Patricia indeed called offensive plays for the Patriots this season, often much to the chagrin of quarterback Mac Jones on the sideline and anyone who watched the New England offense. It’s sort of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario, given Jones’ limitations and the lack of offensive talent the Patriots have. Patricia just didn’t have a lot to work with.
Matt Patricia may wind up unemployed due to the Lions no longer paying him
The Patriots are certainly going to go a different direction with their offensive play caller, and maybe Belichick will give the new person the actual title of offensive coordinator. Asking Patricia to do something on a side of the ball he’d never done it on was setting him up to fail.
That’s the end of my defense of Patricia, I promise.
According to Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Patricia might be “on his way out” now that the Lions are no longer paying his salary.
Patricia’s jobs in New England the last two seasons surely didn’t reduce the money the Lions had to pay out to him by all that much, and last year it wasn’t even a full-blown coaching job–he was in more of a personnel role as a senior football advisor.
Patricia was not long for an offensive play-calling role the minute it was observed/confirmed he had it in New England this season. But with the Lions coming off the financial hook, Patriots’ fans who want to see good (and hopefully a little imaginative) offense will be off the hook for having to watch a Patricia-run offense too.