Former Detroit Lions QB, Players, Analysts Upset With Matt Patricia Saying He Had a Lot of Work to Do When He Got to Detroit
When Detroit Lions’ General Manager Bob Quinn fired head coach Jim Caldwell, the team was 9-7 that season. Quinn hoped that by bringing in someone new, his team would get better, go a step further, even win a Super Bowl in the near future.
So, as a result, he brought in a coach from his former employer, former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who won three Super Bowls with the Pats. However, since Matt Patricia came to Detroit three seasons ago, the team is 10-25-1. Under Caldwell, the team was 36-28 over four seasons.
And this year isn’t looking any better for the Lions. The team has been known, so far this season and throughout last season, to give up double-digit leads. According to MLive, the team has now set an NFL record with six straight games that were lost by double-digits.
The problem a former Detroit Lions quarterback and many national NFL analysts are having now is Patricia’s take on his tumultuous record. Following the Lions 35-29 loss to the Saints, after being up 14-0, Patricia said:
“I know we got a lot of work to do. Certainly, I think when I came to Detroit there was a lot of work to do and that’s what we’re trying to do. But, talking about this year right now. We’re talking about right now and these first four games and obviously today wasn’t good enough.”
It’s a comment upset former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky…a lot. “Patricia forgot that there were players on those teams before he got there and were going to come to Coach Caldwell’s back, one because it’s the truth and two because we have immense respect for Coach Caldwell,” Orlovsky said on ESPN. “To come in and say that you had a lot of work to do, is completely false.”
“It’s a bunch of trash. Because that wasn’t the case in Detroit. We were a good football team, Matthew Stafford was playing as good as he has in his career. That was because of Coach Caldwell. And we were an organization that was ascending, he was building, and another thing, the culture was amazing. The culture was fantastic. So, you had a winning record in 3 or 4 of your years, the culture was great, your quarterback was playing really good football. So, for him to come in and say there was a lot of work to be done, is a bunch of trash. Second of all, you know what Coach Caldwell wasn’t, a finger pointer.”
And it wasn’t just Orlovsky. People like ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, former Lions safety Glover Quin, former Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, and ESPN analyst Domonique Foxworth are also voicing his disdain for Patricia’s “fingerpointing.”
Patricia later addressed his “we got a lot of work to do” statement the following day. “We got a lot of work to do, I probably say that everyday, right? I’m pretty sure that that’s just kind of my…general outlook on work. There’s always a lot to do. And there’s always a lot to be done.”
“Right now, it’s all about this team. It’s about us. It’s about going forward. It’s about what do we do this week. What do we do next week when we get to Jacksonville and just how do we get better. So, I always just feel that there’s a lot of work to do and I think that’s kind of just my internal drive every day to try be the best coach, best whatever it is that day. Like, let’s go to work, let’s do a lot and try to be the best at it that we can every single day.”
There’s always room for second chances, and the Detroit Lions will get that second chance with their upcoming schedule against teams like the Jaguars, Falcons, and the Washington Football Team. And if former Detroit Lions linebacker, Chris Spielman, can offer any advice it’s that the players need to play with enthusiasm, especially with no fans in the stands.
“Everybody wants to get on the coach and I understand. The coach is ultimately responsible,” Spielman said. “But enthusiasm from playing can only come from those who are playing. So, it’s incumbent upon the players to create that energy and that juice. That’s my own personal feeling and it’s a long way to go yet…and this league and this year is crazy. It’s almost like survival of the fittest so you can’t get your head down, you just got to keep going out and grinding. That’s the only choice that they have. They’ve dug themselves a hole again and we’ll have to see if they can get out of it.”
The Lion have a bye this week, so only time will tell if they can make the proper adjustments to turn their season around.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.