During his stint as coach of the Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia, unfortunately, fell into the overpopulated category of former Bill Belichick assistants who were unable to replicate the success they found as members of the New England Patriots.
But just when it looked like his NFL coaching prospects were slim, his old mentor decided to throw him a bone.
While Patricia floundered in Detroit, there’s nothing like nepotism, and Patricia landed on his feet back in New England as a trusted assistant of Belichick.
While it is somewhat vague what his role actually is, it appears that he is involved in both on-field and front office operations in this hybrid role.
The Patriots also have some job openings after a recent series of retirements, as director of football research Ernie Adams announced that the 2021 NFL Draft was going to be his final as a member of New England. ESPN’s Mike Reiss seems to think that they might have his replacement on staff.
Reiss hinted that Patricia, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate, might be able to take over Adams’ hybrid front office-coaching role with a statistical bent. Will he fare better in this field than he did with the Lions?
Could the Patriots move Matt Patricia to the front office?
The Patriots have long leaned on the combination of Belichick and Nick Caserio in the front office, even though Caserio is now running the show in Houston. Finding a replacement for Belichick is a worthwhile endeavor considering his age, but could Patricia really be the guy they choose to promote?
While hiring someone without front-office experience isn’t necessarily a death knell, as evidenced by the job John Lynch has done in San Francisco, Patricia making decisions of such magnitude so soon after he was booted out of Detroit for incompetence could be a nightmare of a move.
Having said that, sometimes failed coaches can transition to the front office and make the move without a great degree of strife. Perhaps Patricia could use his analytical mind better in this position, giving the Patriots some stability amid concerns surrounding when Belichick may decide to finally hang them up.
Patricia looked lost in Detroit, but he’s not a complete dope who knows nothing about football. Even if Belichick is hesitant about giving him schematic or playcalling responsibilities, which is understandable after how bad the Lions were on defense, there is some value in sticking Patricia’s brain in Adams’ old role.
And what exactly…is that role again? Who knows? Creating wins! Let’s see what comes from Patricia garnering increased influence in 2021.