(97.1 The Ticket) Among the teams pursuing Matt Patricia as their next head coach, the Lions and the Giants were the last two standing.
At one point, it was reported that Patricia favored the Giants. New York appeared to have won the battle.
But the Patriots defensive coordinator ultimately settled on the Lions.
Patricia, who has spent the duration of his NFL coaching career in New England, wasn’t ready to enter the media cauldron of New York. Because of this, according to the New York Post, “the Giants were never Patricia’s first choice.”
A source with inside knowledge of the Patriots’ coaching staff told the Post, “The people I spoke to that work with him and know him didn’t think he was ready for a high-profile job. They thought it would be Detroit or Arizona, where he could kind of cut his teeth. They didn’t think he was ready to leave the nest yet.’’
On top of being a softer media market than New York, Detroit offers Patricia the chance to reunite with Bob Quinn, with whom he spent 12 years in New England. He also takes over a 9-7 team with a quarterback in his prime rather than a 2-14 team with a quarterback on the decline.
Certainly, those variables factored into Patricia’s decision.
The Giants ended up hiring Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, but the Daily News reported Patricia was indeed their first choice. “There was discontent in the organization,” according to the News, when Patricia took the Lions’ job instead.
Under Patricia, the Patriots have annually had one of the best scoring defenses in the NFL. They finished fifth this year, even after a woeful start.
Patriots beat writer Jim McBride of the Boston Globe told 97.1 The Ticket that Patricia’s ability to adjust on the fly is one of the reasons he’ll make a great head coach.
“It’s the way he’s able to turn things around pretty quickly. … He was able to find a way to kind of gel those guys and work out the communication issues that they all pointed to as the biggest problem,” said McBride.
The Lions will introduce Patricia the week after the Super Bowl.