After three years in Detroit, Matt Patricia is heading back to Foxborough, Massachusetts. Patrica, who served on the Patriots‘ coaching staff from 2004-17, is re-joining New England’s coaching staff, according to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe.
Patricia, 46, was fired by the Lions shortly following Detroit’s loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving Day. He went 13-29-1 during his three seasons as the Lions coach. The Lions have replaced Patricia with Dan Campbell, who spent the previous five seasons as the New Orleans Saints‘ tight ends coach. Campbell went 5-7 as the Miami Dolphins‘ interim coach in 2015.
A former Division III coach, Patricia also served as a graduate assistant at Syracuse before joining the Patriots’ staff in 2004. He served as an offensive assistant that season, as the Patriots won their third Super Bowl over a four-year span. In 2006, Patricia was promoted to linebackers coach, a position he held through the 2010 season. After spending the 2011 season coaching New England’s safeties, Patricia was named the team’s defensive coordinator in 2012. Patricia stayed in that position through the 2017 season.
During that span, the Patriots won two Super Bowls and three AFC championships. New England’s defense was in the top 10 in the NFL in fewest points allowed each season during that span. They boasted the league’s top-ranked scoring defense in 2016, the same year that the Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl under coach Bill Belichick.
The Patriots are coming off of their first losing season since 2000, Belichick’s first season in New England. While the defense finished seventh in the NFL in points allowed, the Patriots’ offense finished 27th in the league in scoring, 30th in passing, and 24th in red zone efficiency. New England’s offense did enjoy a successful rushing attack; they were fourth in rushing yards gained, sixth in rushing touchdowns scored and eighth in yards-per-carry average.
Quarterback is the main question as the Patriots head into the offseason. Jarrett Stidham is the only Patriots quarterback currently under contract, with 2020 starter Cam Newton slated to enter free agency in March.