Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Tuesday evening following Detroit’s 48-17 loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
Here are the key questions from that media session:
The results from the preseason (1-3) and Monday’s blowout loss have some wondering ... Is the message Patricia and his coaching staff trying to convey to the players not sinking in with them?
“I would say from my standpoint, I see these guys every single day,” he said. “And we talk football and we go through philosophy and things that we have to look at and things that we have to improve on. I would say the football conversation is outstanding.
“I think these guys are really learning to see the game and a bigger picture from a standpoint that, it opens up some different awareness. I think they have some great ideas with things that they see as players, which helps me as a coach. And that’s kind of that mutual relationship back and forth that I think is outstanding.”
As a defensive coach in the past, how common is it for a defensive player to be able to identify a play call based on film and practice habits and how big of a concern is it that the Jets players were saying they could identify several calls Monday night?
Patricia said in general there’s a lot of things that go on in a game that are identifiable to players on both sides of the ball.
“We certainly have the same situation for our side,” Patricia said. “We study opponents the same way everyone else does.”
The Jets ran a jettisoned run game and base offensive pass game and a Todd Bowles and Kacy (Rodgers) defense, according to Patricia. He said both teams knew what the other was trying to do.
“They obviously executed a lot better than we did,” he said. “So, I think we’re talking about something that’s pretty common when you have to face an opponent.
“There should be things there that you’re very familiar with and obviously, I would say, on both sides of the ball there was some high familiarity with some of what they do that we learned and they just out-executed us and that was the biggest problem.”
Does Patricia feel he has the necessary talent and depth on defense to effectively execute his defensive scheme this season?
It’s a complicated scheme with a lot of moving parts, and Monday’s debut obviously wasn’t good, but he still has confidence in what they’re trying to get done on defense.
“I think we have players that are going to help us and try to get better,” he said. “I think the biggest part of it for us was some of the, I’ll start with myself, some of the coaching and some of that stuff has to be better.
“And some of the execution of some of the things that we were trying to do last night has to be better. I don’t think it was a situation where we were outmatched or outmanned, we obviously just got out executed. Give credit to the Jets.”
The Jets put up 349 yards of offense, 169 on the ground and allowed Sam Darnold, who was making his first career start, to throw for two touchdowns with a passer rating of 116.8.
Was there a lack of effort in the players’ performance Monday night vs. the Jets?
It was eluded to in the locker room after the game by some players, but that wasn’t a takeaway Patricia had after watching the tape Monday.
“I think our guys fight hard all the time,” he said. “I think they really try to do everything they can to win. We have competitive guys.”
How long into a season does a coach have to go to get a real feel for where his team stands?
Is it a week? A month? A whole season?
“We just take things day by day here,” Patricia said. “That’s really the most important thing for us, is to try to focus on what we have to get done that day.
“Obviously, we have to have a lot of improvement from our performance last night that we have to get done here and we have to work real hard to get it done as fast as possible. But we just keep trying to do it every single day.”
What is the latest on the injuries to Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) and T.J. Lang (back)?
“Nothing new on that. I think we’ll go through the injury report. I have nothing new to report today.”
The Lions face the 49ers this week and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who Patricia has a lot of familiarity with from their time together in New England. How on a short week can the Lions turnaround from the performance they had Monday?
Garoppolo and the 49ers dropped their opener to the Vikings, 24-16, in a contest where he completed 15-of-33 passes for 261 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.
“Jimmy is a really good player,” Patricia said. “Obviously, he’s in a different scheme than he was in at New England, but it’s something that I think fits him really well with the (Kyle) Shanahan offense. Very dangerous player that if he escapes out of the pocket, he can extend plays, he can make plays with both his arm and his legs.
“We’re going to have to do a real good job here of turning the page which is what we’re doing now and try to get ready to go prepare, take a long trip and go out there and play better. So, certainly from that standpoint you have some things that you know about a guy like that. Certainly, his strong points and things maybe he doesn’t do so great all the time. This is a different system and the way that he has been able to operate that system, you have to look at it as an entirely new player.”