Current and former Detroit Lions players spoke out after the organization fired head coach Matt Patricia on Saturday.
Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia’s days appeared to be numbered following their 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone knew he was on the hot seat, but it was a matter of when, not if, he would be shown the door. Sensing that the team was far from playing “meaningful football” in December, Lions ownership decided to part ways with Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn on Saturday.
After the news broke, you got the typical reaction from fans across social media. But what about the current and former players of the Lions? Well, it seemed like they were none too shocked about Patricia’s firing, and some of them were downright ecstatic.
Former Lions cornerback Darius Slay and defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson spoke about the criticism they received from Patricia, while current No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay liked a post from NFL’s official Instagram account announcing the coach’s firing.
Current Pittsburgh Steelers tight end and former Lion Eric Ebron commented “Thank the Lord!” on the post, while fellow Steeler Carlos Davis wrote, “He finna be coaching 9 & 10 year olds in his hometown and they still gone go 2-9.”
Matt Patricia’s unpopularity in the Detroit Lions’ locker room was well-known
If you didn’t believe the reports of Patricia’s unpopularity in the locker room before, this appears to be confirmation that they were true.
Patricia’s hiring by the Lions was always a controversial one. They opted to fire previous head coach Jim Caldwell, despite the fact that he had a 36-28 record in four seasons with the organization, reached the playoffs twice and had a 9-7 record in his final campaign. Patricia won the sweepstakes in Detroit and had to live up to Caldwell’s lofty standards. In less than three seasons, he failed.
As a member of the Bill Belichick coaching tree, Patricia tried to instill the “Patriot Way” in the Motor City, but it didn’t fly with those on the roster. It certainly didn’t help that he was the coordinator of some seriously bad Patriots defenses. An attempt to rile up his team by showing clips of then-Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton dancing backfired, and players actually drank mimosas in the locker room after the 2018 season because they would get a months-long break from him. This has been a problem with former Belichick assistants. They can act like Belichick, but they’re not the same coach as Belichick.
With the Patricia era officially over with a 13-29-1 record, the Lions now have to learn from their previous mistake and find a head coach who can relate to players and ultimately get everyone on the same page.