This article was created by Charlie Harris who is experienced in the field of blog writing and has followed the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons since 2005.
Matt Patricia – The Master’s Apprentice
Graduate college. Get a job as a junior coaching assistant on the Patriots staff. Work your way up the coaching staff having jobs on both sides of the ball. Earn Bill Belichick’s trust. Become a coordinator. Win multiple Super Bowls. Get hired elsewhere as a Head Coach.
This was the path Matt Patricia took to become Detroit Lions Head Coach. Having successfully coordinated Bill Belichick’s defence in New England for several years it was no surprise that he was finally offered a Head Coaching job.
However, with a difficult first year as a HC behind him Patricia is in danger of following the footsteps of the last Belichick disciple who left to be the lead man elsewhere.
Josh McDaniels – Offensive Mastermind
Josh McDaniels left New England to become Denver Broncos Head Coach in 2008. Clearly not ready to be a Head Coach at the time McDaniels tenure in Denver was marred by controversy. After starting 6-0 in his debut season the wheels well and truly fell off. He fell out with multiple players and constant rumours about a lack of cohesion and leadership inside the Broncos facilty come out in the pres.s
McDaniels was fired in December of his second season with the Broncos sitting at 3-9 and under investigation by the NFL for allegedly videotaping the 49ers defensive signals during their London game earlier in 2010. After a year with the Rams, McDaniels returned to NE and the watchful eye of Belichick. He has had a lot of success since returning winning multiple Super Bowls but following his spurning of the Indianapolis Colts last season is unlikely to ever be offered another Head Coaching shot.
So, Is Patricia Following In Josh’s Footsteps?
I am not saying that Patricia is destined to follow this path. He coached under Belichick for fourteen years before leaving for a Head Coaching gig, compared to McDaniels’ eight. With this experience and at 44 years of age he is a more mature person and coach than McDaniels was when he left NE.
But Patricia went 6-10 his first season as a Head Coach compared to McDaniels’ 8-8. After inheriting a franchise QB in Matt Stafford and group of core players such as Marvin Jones, Darrius Slay and Glover Quin you could argue this was a disappointing season in Detroit.
Rumours also made the US media about players not buying into Patricia’s culture change, with an intense training campand increased discipline allegedly alienating some Lions players. He also had a bizarre exchange with local reporter during a routine media briefing, asking the journalist to ‘sit up and respect the process’.
Further rumours made the press about Patricia ‘consistently showing up late for team meetings.’ This all paints a picture of a Lions franchise being led by a Head Coach giving conflicting signals in his attempt to change the team culture.
In his end of season media briefing, Patricia said he was going to: ‘take some time to clear his head and then evaluate everything.’ He also mentioned speaking to fellow rookie Head Coaches to share experiences of their first year in charge. He would be wise to pick up the phone and call his former colleague McDaniels to learn the lessons of his Denver experience and avoid following that same path.
Image Credits – AP Photos