Matt Patricia: Parting ways with Joe Marciano was “necessary”

The Detroit Lions decided to part ways with special teams coach Joe Marciano following Sunday’s 24-9 loss to their divisional rival Minnesota Vikings. During Tuesday’s teleconference with media members, head coach Matt Patricia said that special teams assistant coach Devin Fitzsimmons will be taking on the “majority of the role” of special teams coach.

Detroit’s special teams have been among the NFL’s worst this season, a stark contrast from last year when they were among the league’s best. Patricia noted that while it is never easy to make a coaching change, especially midseason, he felt that it was the necessary move going forward for the team’s best interest.

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“It’s never really an easy decision when you have to try to make a move in the middle of the season,” Patricia said. “But just kind of taking a look at the evaluation of everything so far, from what we’ve done so far in the season and moving forward, I just thought it was the best thing right now to make that move and kind of go forward without Joe.

“I have a lot of respect for Joe and appreciate all his hard work and everything he’s done in the league for a long time. He’s a great man a good person. Just thought the move was necessary.”

Fitzsimmons now steps into the role after having been with the Lions since 201 as a special teams assistant, as well as coaching the tight ends in 2015. Marciano had been with the team for 3 1/2 years.

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“We’ll handle everything in house here,” Patricia continued. “Obviously with Fitz, he’ll take over a majority of that role. But we have a lot of coaches on staff that have coached special teams before and in the past and it’ll be a collective group effort to try to make sure that everything is handled and covered from that aspect and assist in whatever areas are necessary.”

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