It’s July now, and finally, the speculation can turn into reality. Will linebacker Jarad Davis be a bust? Will rookie running back Kerryon Johnson be the Detroit Lions first 100-yard rusher in about a jillion years? AND…the one that’s been on my mind for the longest: Do people feel that Matt Patricia can make a difference with this team?
No, I’m not doubting the hire at all. I guess what I’m thinking is this. Back in April (pre-draft), I was at an event, and as tends to happen when I meet people, the topic of conversation turned to football.
We started talking Lions, and he asked me if I felt that the Lions are really going to be THAT much improved with this hire. I, of course, said yes, and he looked at me a little funny.
Late Wednesday night, an article was released on the Detroit News website regarding a sexual assault that indicated involvement by Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia.
The alleged assault took place in the spring of 1996, when Patricia and his friend, Greg Dietrich, “violently sexually assaulted” a victim on a spring break trip in Texas. Both men were arrested, charged and indicted, but never got to go to trial. According to the article, “the victim felt that she couldn’t face the pressures and stress of a trial” and the trial was dismissed.
Most Lions fans have chalked this up to clickbait, and a bunch of nothing. Which surprised me a little, but that’s fine. However, I think something to keep in mind is that if there was a “good” time for this to surface, the offseason is just that. It’s the offseason. This shouldn’t be a distraction later on down the road when the Lions are making a playoff push (I’m wishfully thinking here!).
I’ll be the first to admit. When I saw that defensive end Harold Landry was going to be on the board for the Lions at the 20th pick, I was getting excited. THISwas going to be the year the Lions FINALLY got it right, and are going to draft a much-needed player.
The pick was in, and it was centerFrank Ragnow from Arkansas.
OK, not initially what was expected. (This is why I don’t do mock drafts, it’s all too crazy.) Though I did feel that offensive line was going to be addressed, I just didn’t think that they would address it so early.
After about a month or so of speculation, the Detroit Lions franchised their defensive end, Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah, out of BYU, was the Lions’ first pick in the 2013 draft. He’s shown that he can be an impact player on this defense.
In 2014 he was the Week 6 NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He was voted All-Pro in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He had 14.5 sacks and 39 tackles that season.
However, in 2016 and 2017 Ansah was hampered by injuries, leaving questions about if it was time to move on from Ansah. In what was considered to be one of GM Bob Quinn and new head coach Matt Patricia‘s first major personnel decision, they showed that they still feel that Ansah has the ability to make big plays. He is currently ranked 5th all-time in Lions history with 44 sacks.
After a disappointing season, the Lions fired their head coach Jim Caldwell, and have replaced him with Matt Patricia, former defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. That was the first of many moves that need to be made this off-season. After ending his season a few weeks ago, Patricia and his newly assembled staff have work to do.
First up on their “To Do List” is free agency. They’ve got to make decisions on defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and center Travis Swansonto name a few. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how I would manage this, but if it were up to me, I’d let Ansah and Swanson go and rebuild in the draft for their positions. Ngata is a beast who I think the Lions could still use on the line this next season, so maybe just sign him to a shorter deal.
What Detroit Lions fans have known pretty much since week 15 (some figured this out even earlier), is that former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was going to be the next head coach. After a failure to make the playoffs this past season, Jim Caldwell‘s time was up. It was officially announced this past Monday, and there was great rejoicing among One Pride Nation.
After years of mediocre success and playoff losses, the Lions are finally starting to put something together it seems. Bob Quinn was brought in to take this team to the next level and he feels that Matt Patricia is the one to do it.
He was officially introduced today at a press conference. He came looking more polished then he normally does on the Patriots sideline.