ORLANDO – Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia had breakfast with the Lions beat writers at the NFL annual meetings Tuesday, and got a little more in-depth about how the Lions' defense will be run this fall.
"Coach (Paul) Pasqualoni will be calling the defense and he'll be running it from that standpoint," Patricia said.
It's similar to how things were run in New England when Patricia was the defensive coordinator and Bill Belichick the head coach. Belichick is considered one of the best defensive minds in the game, but he gave Patricia a lot of autonomy running and calling the defense.
Now the head man in Detroit, Patricia is excited for the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the team, and has a lot of trust in Pasqualoni to handle the defense, much like Belichick had in Patricia after he took over as the Patriots defensive coordinator in 2012.
"The good thing about coach Pasqualoni is obviously I worked for him for a time at Syracuse," Patricia said. "Then when he left Syracuse he worked in a very familiar system working for coach (Bill) Parcells (for the Dallas Cowboys). The avenue he took was very similar from a fundamentals standpoint, so there's a lot of things we already just have a common ground from that standpoint.
"There might be some scheme questions and things I've done in the past that he'll ask, or we'll have to go over, but from that standpoint I'm real confident and I hired him to do that."
Pasqualoni was the head coach at Syracuse when Patricia worked for him as an offensive graduate assistant from 2001-03.
Pasqualoni was most recently the defensive line coach at Boston College the last two seasons. He served as defensive coordinator for both the Cowboys (2010) and Dolphins (2008-09), and also served as head coach at Connecticut (2011-13), Syracuse (1991-2004) and Western Connecticut State (1982-86).
Pasqualoni will call the defense, but Patricia admits he'll probably gravitate toward the defensive side of the ball quite a bit as head coach.
"I think it'll always be very difficult for me not to gravitate toward defense in general," he said. "Probably the linebackers in particular. That's your comfort zone and where you tend to go. I'll probably drive the position coaches a little crazy more than not."