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Patricia excited for busy week of minicamp and NFL Draft

Matt Patricia has joked in past media sessions that he's simply trying to get through each and every day as a first-time head coach learning on the fly.

This is a particularly busy week in Allen Park for Patricia and the Lions with a voluntary three-day minicamp kicking off Tuesday and the NFL Draft getting under way Thursday night.

It's these kinds of weeks in the NFL that require a lot of man hours, but they're the kind of weeks NFL coaches like Patricia, who love the grind, really look forward to.

"It's very exciting," Patricia said Tuesday. "It's probably the emotion that I have to keep under control the most from that standpoint. Just so you can really kind of grind through every day and have a good idea of what you're accomplishing and focus on the task at hand."

The minicamp is the kickoff of Phase II of the offseason training program, which consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills, as well as team practice conducted on a "separates" basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

It's an exciting time for Patricia, who finally gets to be on the field with his new team going through drills.

"It's kind of an in between going into phase two, but yet some of our requirements are a little bit looser, so we're allowed to do some more things," Patricia said of the minicamp.

In just two days, Patricia will have to flip gears as he takes part in his first NFL draft as a head coach.

He has to have a big-picture view of the draft and the roster as a head coach, but he says that won't be much different than how things were run in New England when he was the defensive coordinator.

"One of the things that we always did, and I always tried to do was look at the quarterbacks that were coming out that year anyways, because a lot of situations where those higher draft-pick quarterbacks might be in a situation where I was going to play against them very early in the season, or whatever the case may be," Patricia said.

"Very familiar with that process early in my career, being on the offensive side of the ball, evaluating and taking a look at offensive linemen, tight ends, skill players.

"So, it's just kind of dealing with all of it, categorizing all of it and putting it all together, I'd say (is) the biggest difference from the standpoint of volume. But procedure and the way that things that have been done is very familiar to me."

Like nearly all NFL coaches and general managers who talk to the media around this time, Patricia was pretty ambiguous when asked what type of players or positions he's looking to add during the draft. He spoke about wanting players who are tough, competitive and fundamentally sound.  

Patricia does plan to be multiple in his defensive schemes, which means the Lions could place a higher value on players who can do multiple things. He did say that deploying that kind of scheme opens the door for a lot of different players with varying skillsets to be fits for the Lions.  

The players added Thursday, Friday and Saturday could start to paint a picture as to what those schemes on defense might look like.

This is a big week for the Lions and for Patricia. He gets more of a hands-on approach to practice, and a good draft can set a team up very nicely for the upcoming season.

"I am very blessed to be in a situation where every day I get to wake up and come to work and try to grind it out and do the best we can to build a great team," he said.

"Thrilled beyond belief, but really trying to keep all that in check because we want to make sure that we're just doing the best we can every day."

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