The Lions introduced Matt Patricia as their new head coach at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon and there was one big difference from the last time we saw him.
Patricia’s trademark bushy beard has been pared back to a more manageable level, but he did pause at one point to put a pencil behind his ear in order to mimic a familiar look from his days as the defensive coordinator of the Patriots. The last of those days was not a good one for Patricia’s defense as they got strafed by the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, although he didn’t field any questions about the 41-33 loss during his press conference.
Patricia was asked what makes him different from other Bill Belichick assistants who have gone on to undistinguished careers as head coaches and what makes him different from past Lions coaches. Patricia was light on specifics, but made it clear that he wasn’t interested in what others had done with their opportunities.
“Whatever anybody’s done in the past doesn’t have to do with me,” Patricia said.
The entire press conference was light on specifics, although Patricia did confirm that offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will remain on the team’s staff. He didn’t say whether he or defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni will be calling plays, but did say that “the good thing” about being head coach is that you can call a play on either side of the ball anytime you want to call one.
Patricia said the team isn’t locked in on a defensive scheme and pointed to the need to wait for free agency and the draft to see how the personnel shapes up before making any big decisions in that area. General Manager Bob Quinn will be handling those areas and Patricia spoke often about his close relationship with Quinn as something that helped get him to Detroit.
Quinn said later that the two men will be “tied at the hip” and the chances that Patricia will buck those past trends for Patriots assistants and Lions coaches will have a lot to do with how well that partnership works in Detroit.