Patricia says he will coach Lions his way

Matt Patricia walked into his introductory press conference as the new Detroit Lions head coach on Wednesday with trimmed hair and beard, but he said little about his specific plans for the team.

Perhaps taking a cue from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the former Patriots defensive coordinator did not reveal details of the style or scheme he plans to install.

Patricia said only that the style would be tailored to fit the players. He acknowledged that Jim Bob Cooter would remain on the staff, but did not confirm whether Cooter would still be offensive coordinator, as had been reported.

Patricia rejoins Bob Quinn, a former Patriots executive who became the Lions general manager in 2016. But Patricia did not say he would coach the Lions in the so-called Patriots Way.

“I think it’s hard to really categorize a ‘Way,'” Patricia said. “I think in general, Bob and I have a lot of experience and history together, and we believe in a lot of the same things as far as when you look at and evaluate players, how a team should be run, how it should be coached. So there is a great background that we both share. And, honestly, a common ground that we both understand is how we both envision a team being run. That’s what makes it a great match for Bob and I to be in this situation.

” … Hopefully that product will show up on the field. And after, hopefully you have some success at that point. That’s when you start calling it ‘The Lions Way.’ We’ve got a long way to go before we have any particular ‘Way’ in which we’ll call our own.”

Patricia said he is not trying to replicate what Belichick has done with New England.

“The way that he looks at the game, his vision of the game, the way that he sees the game move and change before it actually does is unbelievable,” he said. “I’ll say this: There is one coach Belichick. That’s it. He’s amazing. He’s in New England.

“I’m Matt Patricia. I’m kind of my own person. I’m my own guy. I’ve got my own style. But I will certainly take all those lessons that I’ve learned. From how to teach and coach, and the fundamental beliefs that we had in New England, which I think are strong.”

The Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991 and have had seven other head coaches since 2000.

“For me, whatever anybody has done in the past really doesn’t have anything to do with me,” he said.

Patricia replaces Jim Caldwell, who was fired after the Lions went 9-7 in 2017.

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