You can forgive fans watching the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins this afternoon for thinking that head coach Matt Patricia may have been calling the plays for the team's defense.
After all, he was seen several times holding the laminated defensive play sheet close to his face and talking regularly into his headset when the defense was on the field.
Patricia came to Detroit as having ran the New England Patriots Super Bowl winning defense for years, but the defensive prowess he was supposed to have been known for hasn't translated into his tenure in the Motor City.
Afterwards, he was asked if he was indeed calling the plays for the team defense, and he didn't give a straight answer.
“Again, like I’ve said before, I have a lot of different roles on game day and certainly from that standpoint, I’m very active in the communication from all phases of the game, all three phases,” Patricia said. “So there’s going to be plays out there that I can call, there’s going to be plays out there Coach P’s calling, there’s going to be plays out there that certainly are just kind of automatic calls for us.”
Defensive coordinator and Patricia mentor Paul Pasqualoni was brought in to handle the defensive side of the ball, and was given a complete endoresment despite being ranked in the NFL's basement.
Could Patricia recognize the issues with Pasqualoni and calling the defensive plays himself as he once did in New England? If he is, he apparently doesn't want anyone to know.