The wait is over and the new regime can officially begin. As of 3 PM EST today, the Detroit Lions released a statement announcing the hiring of New England Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia as their Head Coach.
In a statement from Patricia, he went on to thank New England Head Coach Bill Belichick, citing his “detailed leadership” as one of the traits that have “shaped [him] into the football coach [he] is today”. As the defensive coordinator for the Patriots, Patricia’s defenses were inside the top in 10 in scoring every year with players that were not considered stars, but rather failed starters or supposed “washed up veterans” elsewhere. The Patriots’ ability to find the right players to fit their needs is one the facets General Manager Bob Quinn has brought and intends to continue building for the Lions future. Patricia’s system of bend but don’t break will mesh well with a Lions offense that finished in the top 10 in almost every statistical passing category in 2017.
In a statement from Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn, he noted Patricia’s hard-working, blue-collar style as one of the keys to his hire:
“Matt is driven to succeed, has an extreme passion for the game and excels in preparation. He embodies the same hard-working, blue-collar attributes that represent our organization and the great City of Detroit.”
All signs had pointed to this occurring following the playoff run for New England ending. The Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII Sunday evening 41-33, allowing the Lions to make the hiring official. However, assistants and personnel were already being put in place since early January for Detroit. It was also recently announced that Jim Bob Cooter is expected to return as the Lions Offensive Coordinator, leaving the Defensive Coordinator position the remaining job open on the essential coaching staff.
Additional New Lions Staff Hires:
QBs Coach: George Godsey (promoted from defensive special projects role)
Offensive Line: Jeff Davidson (Broncos O-Line coach in 2017)
Defensive Backs: Brian Stewart (D-Coordinator at Rice University in 2017)
The #Lions hire Matt Patricia on the 35th anniversary of "Africa" becoming a No. 1 hit.
It is fate.
He is the one. pic.twitter.com/ZcdiOY5fi8
— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) February 5, 2018
All quotes were directly from detroitlions.com and ESPN’s Detroit Lions correspondent Michael Rothstein.