A blurb indicating the Eagles hired Matt Patricia as a senior defensive assistant surfaced on the team’s website Thursday afternoon, Tim McManus of ESPN.com tweets, but it was soon taken down. The veteran defensive coach is still on track to join the Eagles staff, though.
Nick Sirianni said (via ESPN.com’s Field Yates) the Eagles are moving toward a Patricia hire. The two-stint Patriots assistant and former Lions head coach emerged on the Eagles’ radar earlier this offseason. While a Patriots return also looked to remain in play for Patricia, he appears on the verge of joining a third team’s staff soon.
Patricia, 48, has worked for only the Patriots and Lions throughout his 19-year NFL career. His Lions HC stint did not last through its third season, and the veteran defensive coach’s return to New England brought one of the stranger chapters in recent coaching history. Bill Belichick eschewed a true Josh McDaniels offensive cordinator replacement and instead gave Patricia offensive play-calling duties, a responsibility the assistant reluctantly accepted. The results, as expected, led to another shakeup on the Pats staff.
Belichick’s Patricia hire led to a sophomore regression from Mac Jones and played a role in the Belichick-Jones relationship deteriorating. Jones and Brian Hoyer voiced issues with the Patriots’ plan of putting Patricia and Joe Judge in charge of the offense, which dropped from 15th in 2021 to 26th last season. The Pats hired Bill O’Brien to pick up the pieces and are keeping Judge, but Patricia’s Lions contract helped the Pats keep him on staff. With the Detroit HC deal having expired, the longtime Belichick assistant entered an uncertain offseason.
The Broncos interviewed Patricia for their defensive coordinator gig and considered him for another staff position, but the team did not make a hire. That looks set to lead Patricia to Philadelphia. This will be an interesting fit due to the Eagles’ decision to extend Darius Slay. The Pro Bowl cornerback feuded with his then-HC during their Detroit overlap. Slay has not indicated the sides have repaired their relationship.
Patricia’s detractors and his odd 2022 aside, he brings considerable experience in having spent nine seasons as either a defensive coordinator or head coach (and one memorable year as an OC). Patricia served as the Pats DC during their 2014 and ’16 Super Bowl-winning seasons. Like most Belichick assistants given HC opportunities, Patricia failed upon receiving that chance. He went 13-29-1 with the Lions, but the Eagles lost two-year DC Jonathan Gannon this offseason. Consultant Vic Fangio also left for the Miami DC position, and Dennard Wilson — the team’s two-year secondary coach who was in contention to replace Gannon — also left. Should this Philly deal be completed, Patricia will work under Sean Desai, who will begin his second season on the coordinator level.
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Publish Date:2023-04-21 03:20:52