The Detroit Lions have officially named former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia their next head coach, taking over for the recently fired Jim Caldwell.
However, just the day before, Patricia’s Patriots gave up 41 points to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, ending New England’s reign as defending champions. Following the game, Patricia decided to keep the focus on his then current team rather than his future endeavors in Detroit.
“It’s obviously bittersweet right now for the season,” Patricia said following the disappointing loss. “That’s kind of what the focus is for tonight, and the guys. Teams change every year and players, so my first (thing to do) is just go in and tell those guys in the room how much I appreciate them and they worked really hard this year. We obviously came up a little bit short, but just tell those guys how much I appreciate them. Just kind of, focused on the moment right now and think about everything else later.”
It’s only natural, however, for fans to discuss New England’s poor defensive showing against Philadelphia. Additionally, there was the curious decision to not play starting cornerback Malcolm Butler except on special teams.
Butler intercepted Seattle’s Russell Wilson’s pass at the end of Super Bowl XLIX to clinch the victory for the Patriots. However, both Patricia and coach Bill Belichik said the decision was not out of discipline.
“We were just trying to run some packages that we had for the gameplan and those guys that were out there were out there for all the situations that we needed them for,” Patricia said. “It turned out that way and with the game kind of the way it went, some of the situations that came up, that’s just kind of the way it went.”