Could Matt Patricia be the heir to Bill Belichick, as the coach or G.M. or both?

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Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has returned to the team in a role with a different title and far different duties. The Schrutian “special assistant to the head coach” is indeed assisting head coach Bill Belichick, in many different ways. The situation invites reasonable speculation as to whether this could lead to Patricia getting his next shot as a head coach not with some other team but when New England’s current head coach stops coaching.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe takes a comprehensive look at Patricia’s current duties. He has signed every free-agent contract on behalf of the team this year, and he has served as the primary “sounding board” for Belichick on matters like the decision to select quarterback Mac Jones with the fifteenth overall pick in the 2021 draft.

Volin notes that Patricia also shows up on the practice field. On Thursday, he stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Belichick for the opening thirty minutes of OTA practice. Patricia then spent time showing technique to defensive linemen and observing defensive drills.

While folks like Dave Ziegler and Eliot Wolf have absorbed some of the many duties previously performed by Nick Caserio, who is now the G.M. of the Texans, Patricia has gotten the bulk of the responsibilities.

Regardless of whether and to what extent Patricia’s current duties may lead to a bigger role in the post-Belichick Patriots, Patricia has landed in an ideal spot to expand his experience and knowledge of a modern (and elite) football operation. As Peter King previously has noted on PFT Live, the Rams came away from their head-coaching interview with Patricia in 2017 thinking that he eventually could become a great General Manager.

Maybe he’ll do that. Or maybe he’ll become a head coach again. Or both. The real question is whether he’s willing to wait for Belichick, who turned 69 last week, to move on — and whether Patricia believes he’d win the ensuing scrum with Josh McDaniels and the pair of Belichick sons currently working for the team.

Don’t underestimate Patricia’s chances. He has long been regarded as brilliant within the Patriots organization. Despite his inability to transplant the Patriot Way to a midwestern organization that has largely lost its way for the past six decades years, the 46-year-old Patricia ultimately could be the ideal choice to continue things the way they started when Belichick arrived in 2000.

46 responses to “Could Matt Patricia be the heir to Bill Belichick, as the coach or G.M. or both?

  1. If Bill Belichek is looking to preserve his legacy, as in being the last successful Head Coach for the Patriots, then making Matt Patricia the heir would be a masterstroke…

  2. The Pats will promote from within to maintain the culture. Whether or not it’s Matty P. remains to be seen, but his time in Detroit serves as a learning experience much as Belichick’s time in Cleveland did for him.

  3. The Patriot way has failed everywhere just not in Detroit so please stop. Also the players in N.E will tolerate the crap that they have to do with Belichick because he is a winner, that won’t fly the same for Patricia. If you insist
    to use Detroit as a example, just look at all the players that wanted out under him and completely trashed him after. Matt Patricia will never be a successful NFL coach period because his ego will never allow it.

  4. Why would he pick the least successful, least competent of all the unsuccessful, incompetent coaches in his tree. His tree is a telephone pole.

  5. As a Lions fan who despises both Matt Patricia and the Patriots…I certainly hope he takes over. The sooner the better.

  6. Patricia is horrid as a coordinator and a head coach, I would quit being a Patriots fan if he were to be hired as anything controlling the Patriots. He IS NOT well liked here.

  7. The title of the article asked a question. I can help with that. The answer is no.

  8. As a Patriots fan I am glad this rumor came from Volin. The least connected, most incompetent fool covering the team. If Volin thinks Patricia will take over after Belichick then it clearly will never happen. Volin is nothing but a “hot take” wannabe who should be ignored.

  9. Maybe as a GM but certainly not a head coach. He’s basically taking over the role of Ernie Adams and Nick Caserio. The answer is no.

  10. Kraft’s last two head coaching hires:

    Belichick and Carroll, one has coached the Patriots since 2000 and the other the Seahawks since 2010. I think we can trust Kraft to hire a Head Coach and GM.

  11. Wasn’t Patricia the architect of the defense that gave up 41 points to Nick Foles in the SB or do I have him confused with someone else?

  12. Patricia went to a 9-7 team that wanted to get over the hump and could never win more than 6 games despite signing half his former starting defense. This would be hilarious to watch.

  13. Michael Mullins says:
    May 30, 2021 at 10:37 am
    The Patriot way has failed everywhere just not in Detroit so please stop. Also the players in N.E will tolerate the crap that they have to do with Belichick because he is a winner, that won’t fly the same for Patricia. If you insist
    to use Detroit as a example, just look at all the players that wanted out under him and completely trashed him after. Matt Patricia will never be a successful NFL coach period because his ego will never allow it. The Patriot way is the way the nfl was run since its creation the Pat’s are just the last to keep it going! It’s hard to instill culture to players that dont want it they like being over paid divas they dont wanna be disciplined and have structure.

  14. Patricia is horrid as a coordinator and a head coach, I would quit being a Patriots fan if he were to be hired as anything controlling the Patriots. He IS NOT well liked here.

    ———————

    He pulled a Belichick in Detroits.

  15. I’m glad to have Matt p back in the fold! also I would be honored as a Patriots fan if and when belichick hangs em up for matt or josh take over.

  16. Current NFL head coaches who have won NFL championships:

    Bellichick 6

    All others combined 7, none of whom have won 2.

  17. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn was to this franchise what a category 5 hurricane is to Florida or an earthquake that measured 8 on the richter scale is to California. It is wholly inconceivable that either of them would ever be given the reigns to another NFL franchise after the complete deconstruction they performed here. It was surgical!

  18. Blaming Detroit for a self anointed defensive genius who had total control of the roster yet had record setting failures that may never get broken is ridiculous . Patricia is successful as long as Belichick gets the players and tells him what to do with them . Otherwise he’s a terrible coach who should never be in charge of anything in the NFL ever again .

  19. The Patriot Way Culture is absolutely meaningless. Patricia is no Belichick. Shoot, Belichick is no Belichick without Brady.

  20. I don’t see Patricia as having the personality you need to be a coach. I believe he’s a smart guy, but you have to be able to inspire and educate players and he didn’t do that in Detroit. Now I could argue that the Lions players lacked the self-discipline to buy into his leadership, but until a coach has earned the success credential to have it his way he has to adapt to be what the players need him to be. He could maybe coat-tail it in Foxboro, but I’d a lot rather see him as GM or Ernie Adams’s replacement than head coach.

  21. Patriots will never be the same without Brady. We now know Pats reason for success and it is more do do with Brady than BB. Pats have had some very successful assistant coaches but they do not seem to advance to head coach status.

  22. As a Lions fan I’m trying to think of a single aspect of his job that I thought he was good at, and I just can’t do it. He was a complete and unequivocal failure as Lions HC IMO.

  23. Let’s face it, the “Patriot way” was Tom Brady. He’s gone and it’s over.

  24. Patriots will never be the same without Brady.

    ———————–

    All of Belichick’s “greatness” is built on Brady’s ability of turning cheap receivers into play makers so that Belichick didn’t have to pay a lot on players for an offense that played better than Peyton’s offense in playoff, better than Brees’ offense in playoff, better than Rodgers’ offense in playoff.

  25. jrterrier5 says:
    May 30, 2021 at 11:48 am
    Wasn’t Patricia the architect of the defense that gave up 41 points to Nick Foles in the SB or do I have him confused with someone else?

    ——-

    BB also had a big hand in it by refusing to put Malcom Butler in at CB

  26. Patricia as GM with McDaniels as head coach. I would enjoy nothing more than watching that two-headed train wreck run the Patriots into the ground.

  27. Matt Patricia worse with the Lions than his predecessor, I wouldn’t say that bodes well for his chances of taking over when Belichick retires.

    What about Josh McDaniels, wasn’t he supposed to take over?

    Chances are if the Patriots don’t find a good QB in the next several years Belichick will retire. It can’t be fun for him to have a mediocre team for 4-5 years.

  28. Just another troll article.

    He’s clearly the new Ernie Adams, a role he’s perfectly suited for.

  29. Defensive genius Matt Patricia turned the Lions defense into the worst in that franchise’s history. So yes, I would love to see Patricia do the same thing for New England that he did for Detroit.

  30. Belichick failed his first time coaching. You learn and grow so I don’t hold Detroit against Patricia. I just think McDaniels is a better option.

  31. weswelker83 says:
    May 30, 2021 at 6:07 pm
    Just another troll article.

    He’s clearly the new Ernie Adams, a role he’s perfectly suited for.


    I’m thinking it’s the other guy Evan Rothstein that Patricia brought with him from Detroit. Very smart and analytics savvy. Or maybe they’ll be a team.

  32. Pats fans here saying Patricia’s stint in Detroit was like Belichick in Cleveland are out of their mind’s. Belichick took over a 3-13 Cleveland team and went 11-5 after a few seasons getting them into the playoffs. Patricia took over a 9-7 team and went the other way with the Lions team.

  33. footballpat says:
    May 31, 2021 at 8:06 am
    Belichick failed his first time coaching.

    —-
    Not really imo. The franchise was killed off in Bill’s last year. No coach would have done any better in that situation.

    The only thing Bill did wrong in that era was not understand that the right relationships with ownership management and players go a long way to helping you as a coach. It can’t be a one man show. He learned from that experience and helped season him into what he became,

  34. fmc651 says:
    May 31, 2021 at 2:13 pm
    Pats fans here saying Patricia’s stint in Detroit was like Belichick in Cleveland are out of their mind’s. Belichick took over a 3-13 Cleveland team and went 11-5 after a few seasons getting them into the playoffs. Patricia took over a 9-7 team and went the other way with the Lions team.
    —-
    Beat Parcells Pats too in a playoff game. The same Parcells that the Tampa Bay Tommy cult now say was way better than Bill. 😀

  35. Beat Parcells Pats too in a playoff game. The same Parcells that the Tampa Bay Tommy cult now say was way better than Bill. 😀

    ——-

    The same Parcells that never won even a division title without Belichick on his staff

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