Heading into the 2019 season, most believed the defense would be the strength of the Detroit Lions. In fact, many thought the Lions could potentially have a top 5 defense when all was said and done, especially when considering they signed DE Trey Flowers and CB Justin Coleman in the offseason.
Well, here we are through Week 16 and the Lions defense is amongst the worst in the entire NFL.
So, who is to blame for the defensive woes so far in 2019?
The better question is, who has been calling the defensive plays?
The answer to that question remains a bit of a mystery as Lions head coach — and defensive guru — Matt Patricia has said the playcalling varies from week to week between him and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.
The Lions have decided to keep Patricia around for a third season but you can bet there will be a fall guy. That fall guy will likely be Pasqualoni, though Patricia is very close to him and it would be a tough thing for him to do.
Assuming Pasqualoni is fired, the question is, who will Patricia hire to replace him?
Well, some Lions fans will not like to hear this, but Patricia could look to his old stomping grounds and hire New England Patriots linebackers coach, Jerod Mayo.
During this past preseason, Patricia raved about Mayo.
“I have a long, great history with Jerod. He's like a son to me,” Patricia said. “I'm just excited for him and his family. I know he's working really hard. He's extremely smart. He was a great player when I had him and I know he's going to be a great coach.”
“When he was a player, he was that cerebral type of guy that you always had those conversations (with) about game-planning,” Patricia said. “What are the calls and situations? How do we want to handle this, what would we do in those to take guys away? He was just kind of right there every step of the way.”
There is no question about it, Patricia is a big fan of Mayo. But would be he able to get Bill Belichick to allow Mayo to leave to the Lions?
Time will tell, but Mayo is definitely a guy to keep on the radar as a possible replacement for Pasqualoni.