Citing league sources, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is “likely” to take over the vacant head coaching position for the Detroit Lions.
Although Patricia interviewed with the Lions last week, there was steady speculation that he would be more in play to lead the New York Giants, with whom he also interviewed.
The connection though between Patricia and Lions general manager Bob Quinn is well-documented, as the latter has experience in the Patriots’ personnel department, including acting as the team’s director of pro scouting from 2012-’15.
Patricia has been the Patriots’ defensive coordinator since 2012 and has been particularly successful with a “bend-but-don’t-break” style that helped the team win Super Bowls in two of the last three seasons. The Pats had the number one scoring defense in the league last year and were fifth in that statistic this past regular season.
During Sunday morning’s conference call, Belichick explained his thought process behind hiring new assistants, one that does not alter much from his usual approach.
“In any decision that involves personnel on the team, I always try to do what’s best for the football team,” Belichick said. “So, that’s what goes into it. It can be a thousand things. If you’re signing a player, drafting a player, however you acquire a player or a coach or a scout or administrative position, then I always try to think of what’s best for the football team.”