Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia has had more than two seasons to turn his team into the winners he promised they’d be. Four games into his third season at the helm, he doesn’t seem to particularly close to doing that. The Lions are 1-3 and they allowed the New Orleans Saints to score 35 unanswered points against them on Sunday.
Patricia is always full of excuses, and he gave a doozy during his news conference following the Lions’ 35-29 loss to the Saints. Here’s how he answered a question about why anyone should believe he’s still the right coach to turn the Lions around.
Matt Patricia was asked why people should still believe he’s the right coach to turn the Lions around.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 4, 2020
“When I came to Detroit, there was a lot of work to do. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he said. pic.twitter.com/o24DOpATh5
“That’s a hard question. We just lost to the Saints. Let’s just give them credit for this game, they played extremely well and I know we got a lot of work to do. I think when I came to Detroit, there was a lot of work to do and that’s what we’re trying to do. But, talking about this year, we’re talking about right now, these first four games and obviously today wasn’t good enough.”
Unless Patricia is talking about doing work to actively make the Lions worse, he’s completely full of it. He inherited a 9-7 team that was one game away from the playoffs and ran them directly into the ground. He’s in his third season as Lions head coach and the team seems to be getting progressively worse with every game.
Former Lions backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky, now an analyst for ESPN, ripped Patricia a new one when he appeared on the “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin” show Monday morning.
“To come in and say that you had a lot of work to do is completely false. It’s a bunch of trash!”— Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin (@KeyJayandZ) October 5, 2020
Former Lions QB @danorlovsky7 RIPPED head coach Matt Patricia for his post-game comments about what the team was like that he inherited from Jim Caldwell. #KJZ pic.twitter.com/TigGSjI2WY
“We were 11-5 in 2014 and a really good football team. In 2015, we go 7-9, it’s because we turned the football over. But the last eight games, we were (6-2). So flipped our season around. Next two years, we’re 9-7 and I believe in Week 17 we were playing Green Bay for a chance to win the division. OK? So, to come in and say you had a lot of work to do is completely false. It’s a bunch of trash, because that wasn’t the case in Detroit.
“We were a good football team. Matthew Stafford was playing as good as he has in his career -- that was because of Coach [Jim] Caldwell. And we were an organization that was ascending. He was building. The culture was amazing. The culture was fantastic. So you had a winning record in three out of four years, the culture was great, your quarterback was playing really good football. So for him to come in and say there was a lot of work to be done is a bunch of trash.”
You can’t sum it up much better than that. Orlovsky’s opinion was backed up by an eyewitness to both the Caldwell and Patricia eras, retired safety Glover Quin.
When will Patricia run out of chances?
Patricia’s been on the hot seat so long that all his pants must be burnt to a crisp. Yet he continues to get chance after chance even though he’s failed to make the Lions visibly better in any way.
The organization’s dedication to Patricia is even more baffling when you consider why Patricia’s predecessor, Jim Caldwell, was fired. Caldwell was let go at the start of 2018 when he failed to take the Lions to the playoffs after a 9-7 season. At the time, general manager Bob Quinn said that nine wins was no longer good enough. Via mlive.com:
“We didn’t beat the really good teams,” Quinn said after the very first question following the decision. “Our record was above average. We’re 9-7 the last two years, but our record against the better teams in the league has not been that good.”
Unless Quinn meant that nine wins was actually far too many for the Lions, Patricia has done nothing but fail miserably as a head coach. Everyone seems to see it besides the Lions front office and Patricia himself.