The Detroit Lions have had one of the worst defenses in the NFL all season long and will once again be on the outside looking in at this year's playoff picture.
Naturally, the person charged with the team's defensive success will be bearing the brunt of criticism from fans and media alike, but for Paul Pasqualoni, he's not bothered by it.
“They’ve talked about my job all my life, so if I was going to let that stuff bother me, I’d have been out of this like 40 years ago,” he explained.
However, you can bet that he is in fact bothered by the numbers put out by his defense on the field. The team has lost their last five games, and heading into this weekend's matchup against the divisional rival Minnesota Vikings, have the 29th ranked defense.
“I see my job as helping the players have success,” Pasqualoni said. “And when the team and players don’t have success, I think if you’re in this for the right reasons and you’re in it to teach and you’re in it to help people, I think it bothers you. I think that part bothers me.
“So, I take responsibility. I’ve got to do a better job. And you’re right, that part of it — people talking about me, that doesn’t bother me. But me, not feeling like, ‘Ah, I could have done that.’ You go home, you replay the game a thousand times, right? Like, ‘I could have done that.’ You go back during the week, ‘I should have showed them that play again.’ Or, ‘I kind of thought that play was coming. We should have showed them that play again.’ That type of stuff. That’s the part as a coach that you want to do better at.”
As the team prepares for the Vikings, Pasqualoni insists that he's not thinking about his job status, but only about their next game.
“What I’m thinking about right now is how we’re going to stop the play-action, the run and the play-action against Minnesota,” Pasqualoni said. “And we’re going to work our tail off and do the best we can do. That’s it.”
Will Pasqualoni be the DC next year for Detroit? Only time will tell.