LIONS INSIDER

6 things to know about Lions head coach Matt Patricia

Posted Feb 5, 2018

Tim Twentyman takes a look at six things for Lions fans to know about new head coach Matt Patricia.

The Detroit Lions made things official on Monday, naming former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their next head coach.

So, who is Matt Patricia? Here are six things to know about the new head coach of the Detroit Lions:

1. Highly educated

Before becoming an NFL coach, Patricia was on a path to become a rocket scientist. He majored in aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. He was selling and designing industrial blowers to wastewater plants for the first couple years out of college. Companies like General Electric and General Dynamics showed interest in him, per an SI.com profile in 2016, and he was even reportedly offered a job to maintain nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers for a salary close to six figures.

But Patricia turned that job offer down to coach the defensive line at small Amherst College for a barely five-figure salary. That decision so many years ago seems to have worked out nicely for Patricia. 

2. Former offensive lineman

He’s made his mark in the coaching world by designing and scheming some of the best defenses in the NFL, but he was an undersized center/guard and four-year letter winner for the Engineers football team from 1992-95.

“He ended up being a good player,” Patricia’s college coach at RPI, Joe King, said. “He didn’t start right away. I mean, he had some work to do, which he did in the weight room and otherwise and became a good, solid offensive lineman for us.” 

3. Tireless work ethic

In that SI.com profile of Patricia, they said his film study quickly became the stuff of legend in New England. He found tendencies other coaches didn’t on film, and would be given a number of special projects to root out opponent tendencies on film. Patricia even helped digitalize New England’s film review system, and ran a seminar teaching Patriots rookies the video system. 

4. Defensive pedigree

Since becoming the defensive coordinator in New England in 2012, Patricia’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in points allowed every year he’s been the coordinator. They were ranked No. 1 in 2016.

5. The jewelry

Lions GM Bob Quinn expects to compete for championships as soon as the 2018 season. Patricia knows what it takes to not only compete for rings, but to win them. He owns three. He won one as an offensive assistant in 2004, and two as defensive coordinator in 2014 and 2016.

6. Players love him

Patricia is widely considered a player’s coach, and his former players in New England raved about him at the Super Bowl:

DL Alan Branch: “Determined. I have to say (Patricia) is determined. You would think he’s a football player the way he prepares for the game. He gives it his all. He doesn’t leave nothing on the field. That’s why I say he’s determined.”

LB Kyle Van Noy: “Matt loves the game of football. He’s very passionate from all aspects. He has a high standard. He just wants to be successful and he’s done that and I think he’s going to continue to do that as coach of the Lions.”