Matt Patricia was one of the hottest head-coaching candidates this offseason, interviewing for vacancies in Detroit, Arizona and with the New York Giants.
Patricia ultimately came to Detroit, and was introduced as the team's 27th head coach in a press conference on the indoor field at Allen Park on Wednesday.
Four questions into his press conference – two after putting his signature No. 2 pencil behind his right ear – Patricia was asked why he chose Detroit over other opportunities.
It was his relationship and familiarity with Lions general manager Bob Quinn from the years the two spent together in New England that really stood out about his answer. In the end, Patricia chose a franchise and a new boss that saw football the same way as him.
"My meeting with Bob and Rod (Wood) was one that I just felt very comfortable in," he said. "I felt immediately when I walked in the room that things just started to click on the same level – ideas, philosophies, the way that you wanted an organization and a football team to be run.
"Kind of the mentality behind it was very similar. Bob's and mine working relationship is outstanding, and has been outstanding previously, so there's obviously no reason to think that way moving forward. My comfort level with Bob is huge."
That's really no surprise given that Quinn spent 12 years in New England's front office while Patricia was on the coaching staff. They moved up the ranks together.
That relationship can't be overstated, and it's the biggest reason Patricia is in Detroit. Quinn wants to win, and win now. He identified the best candidate to make that happen.
"It was just a really good alignment," Quinn said of the shared football philosophies between he and Patricia.
Patricia has steadily risen through the coaching ranks, going from offensive assistant in New England to winning two Super Bowl titles as the Patriots defensive coordinator.
It was through hard work, dedication and a relentless work ethic that Patricia grew in New England under Bill Belichick, and Patricia thinks Detroit is a city that will embrace him as a new coach with that same kind of identity he wants to instill with his new team.
View photos from Matt Patricia's tour of the Detroit Lions practice facility on his first day as the team's head coach.
"This is a blue-collar, grind-it-out community that thrives on hard work and achieving success through commitment, teamwork and never give up attitude," Patricia said. "We strive to replicate that on the field."
Patricia also touched on access and a relationship with ownership as being important to him through this process. He's coming from an organization in New England where he had a close working relationship with owner Bob Kraft and the Kraft family.
"When you talk to different organizations you definitely get a different feel as far as – I'll call it the layers – between maybe a head coach and ownership," Patricia said.
"To me, it's very important. I come from an organization where I was very close with the ownership there and that's very important to me and obviously to have and to do that here is extremely important."
The overwhelming theme throughout Patricia's press conference was that Detroit felt close to home for him because of the relationship he has with Quinn, and how he identifies with a city like Detroit that is all too eager to embrace a hard-working, no-nonsense coach.