Patriots: Matt Patricia firing adds another failure to Belichick coaching tree
By Adam Weinrib
Former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has become the latest casualty of the Bill Belichick coaching tree after being fired by the Lions.
Though it came a few days (weeks? months?) after many expected it to, former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has officially been thrown to the wolves after being fired by the Lions.
Luckily, Bill Belichick is quite familiar with what it takes to comfort his fired former assistants at this point. By now, it’s basically second nature.
Patricia’s “bend, don’t break” defensive expertise finally expired once he was tasked with running things on both sides of the ball, and the head coach’s 13-29-1 record in 2.5 seasons in Detroit proved he had a thorough knowledge of the art of breaking.
Patricia’s glaring failure was one that Patriots fans likely could’ve seen coming.
After all, when you’re tasked with running the defense in New England, part of your success is attributed to the leadership and scheming of Bill Belichick, who never takes his hand out of the defensive honey pot. By the end of Patricia’s tenure with the Pats, even Belichick couldn’t save him, though, as his scattershot defense in the team’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles doomed an historic offensive effort from Tom Brady, which somehow went all for naught.
Just like the pencil tucked behind his ear touching his laminated play sheet, something prevented that history from being written. In this case, it was Patricia’s gaping defense that undid all of Brady’s spectacular game of catch-up.
Unfortunately, while Brian Flores continues to impress in Miami and the angry Joe Judge argues his case to the jury, Patricia represents another official swing-and-a-miss on Belichick’s ledger.
And even in an otherwise-successful 2020, Patricia is one of, ahem, many to be dismissed. In case you missed the Pats connection in 2020’s other firings, allow Ben Volin to spell it out!
For the first time in years, there are a few promising ex-Belichick assistants scattered across the league. Heck, even Romeo Crennel is back!
But Patricia is a high-profile example of a coach carried by Belichick who was unable to translate anything of what the big man brought to his new home. A caustic personality isn’t charming when you’re losing, and falling well behind the example even Jim Caldwell set.
Luckily, this part of the story is over, but Patricia will continue dogging Belichick for years to come.