Patricia confirms his defense will be multiple

Posted Feb 28, 2018

Head coach Matt Patricia doubled down on his previous comments that he wants his defense to be multiple.

INDIANAPOLIS – Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia doubled down on his previous comments at his introductory press conference earlier this month that he wants his defense to be multiple.

There have been a number of questions since Patricia’s hire on what Detroit’s base scheme will be.

“We’re going to do whatever we need to do that week to win,” Patricia reaffirmed Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“As we go through and analyze the opponent, take a look at what they do from and offensive and defensive perspective ... however we think we can do a good job to be productive, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Patricia said he laughs when he hears the 4-3 vs. 3-4 question because he thinks it’s all relative in today’s game. 90 percent of the defense played in the NFL now isn't base. It’s all sub packages. It's about exploiting mismatches, which is what being multiple is all about. 

That being said, Patricia still believes in some core principles on defense.

“I think what you want to do just from a philosophical standpoint what I’ll tell you is this – and this is really both sides of the ball – you want to build from the ball out,” he said.

“Start in the middle and work out. You always want to be strong in the middle of your defense. So, anybody who plays through the core, whether it’s linebackers or safeties, those guys are critically important to what you’re trying to do, and I think that was one thing we were able to do consistently over the years in New England.”

Look for Patricia to emphasize and try and bolster the defensive tackle position, improve linebacker depth and find the right fit at safety next to Glover Quin this offseason.

Patricia was a linebacker coach in New England from 2006-10, and knows the value of being sound at that position on defense.  

“When you walk into a room with Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Junior Seau, Willie McGinest, Rosevelt Colvin, those are going to be the guys that your kind of building around from there,” Patricia said.

The Lions think they have a pretty good linebacker in Jarrad Davis they can build around, but continuing to evaluate that position and looking to add both talent and depth seems to be a point of emphasis for Patricia.

“That’s kind of my starting point,” he said.