Though nobody in the Detroit Lions organization is willing to speak a word about it, head coach Jim Caldwell will likely be fired soon after the final game of the regular season, which will take place on Sunday afternoon.
There is no question about it that Caldwell is a great man and is loved by his players but unfortunately, his football coaching skills are not good enough and it's time for the Lions to go in a different direction before it's too late.
So, with Caldwell likely being fired, Lions general manager Bob Quinn will have to determine who the next Detroit Lions head coach will be.
When looking around the league, there certainly does not seem to be a shortage of head-coaching candidates for the 2018 season. Heck, the Lions even have a couple of HC candidates currently in their own organization. That being said, there will likely be quite a few head coaching openings around the league, so Quinn will have to be on top of his game before the top guys end up elsewhere.
So, who will Quinn target as he searches for the perfect coach for the Lions roster?
Will Quinn go with an offensive-minded guy like Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur or New England Patriots OC, Josh McDaniels? Or does the Lions GM feel like a defensive guy like Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard or Patriots DC Matt Patricia is the perfect fit? Maybe Quinn decides that continuity is important and decides to promote DC Teryl Austin or OC Jim Bob Cooter, who are both in the mix to land a head-coaching gig this offseason. Who knows, maybe he surprises everyone by snagging a former NFL coach like Jon Gruden.
The Next Detroit Lions Head Coach Will Be…
Though Bob Quinn should do his due diligence by exploring all avenues when it comes to finding the best head-coaching candidate, there is only one man that would be perfect for the job.
It's no secret that Quinn has strong ties to the New England Patriots organization and that he knows both of the Patriots coordinators very well. So the question is, who will the Lions GM go with, the offensive-minded Josh McDaniels, who has a bit of head coaching experience or the defensive-minded Matt Patricia, who has spent the last five seasons serving under Bill Belichick as the Patriots defensive coordinator?
In my opinion, the next Detroit Lions head coach will be Matt Patricia.
Who is Matt Patricia?
Matt Patricia, who is 43-years-old, has been part of the Patriots coaching staff since 2004. Though Patricia has been on the defensive side of things since the 2006 season, he began as an offensive assistant in 2004 and was the assistant offensive line coach for the 2005 campaign.
Since taking over as the Patriots defensive coordinator in 2012, Patricia has been looked at as one of the best defensive minds in the game, despite not having a plethora of talent to work with.
Over the past four seasons, the Patriots defense has fared well when looking at points allowed per drive, ranking 8th in 2014, 9th in 2015, 1st in 2016, and 12th in 2017. In comparison, the Detroit Lions defense ranked 3rd in 2014, 28th in 2015, 26th in 2016, and 16th through 15 games in 2017.
Is Matt Patricia a sure-fire hire that will definitely lead the Detroit Lions to the promised land? Of course not. But news flash, folks, there is no such thing as a sure-fire hire in the NFL.
In my opinion, Patricia would come in and instill a winning culture in the Lions locker room while making smart coaching decisions throughout the game. Those are two things the team has not had in quite a while.
If Bob Quinn wants to take the Lions to the next level and possibly a Super Bowl, he had better put his chips all-in for Matt Patricia.