By: Rachel Marie (Twitter: @rachmariesports)
The Patricia Era is Over
For most Detroit Lions fans, it had been a long two and a half years. Matt Patricia was the head coach of the team and they were on their way to a putrid 13-29-1 record with enough blown man coverage to make anyone scream. The frustration was real.
And then, after being shutout by the league’s 22nd ranked defense in DVOA in Carolina, followed immediately by an embarrassing Thanksgiving blowout at home versus the then 3-7 Houston Texans, the almost inevitable happened as both Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn were fired. One Pride was alight with praise for the new owner, Sheila Ford Hamp (daughter of William Clay Ford and Martha Ford), and her decision to step in and put an end to the heartbreak.
Sheila was quoted saying:
“I want to do the right thing by this organization and that’s the bottom line. Hoped that this season would’ve been played out differently, but it hasn’t. It just felt like now is the time to make the change and to really begin to look forward.”
Former Lions players had quite a bit to say on Twitter regarding the news, and following previous reports that locker room tension was at an all time high under Patricia, this came as no surprise.
But, as Sheila Ford Hamp stated in her press conference, it is time for this team to look forward. What that means does not yet seem to be clearly defined. Ford Hamp was not sure whether or not the Lions would seek out a firm for help in their search for the next GM candidate, and stated that what they are looking for is still being discussed. She did ensure fans that, “….I promise you. We are going to do an extremely thorough and comprehensive search for both positions.”
Plenty of names are being thrown around as potential candidates for both positions. Louis Riddick, Ed Dodds, hometown Robert Saleh, Eric Bienenemy, and the list goes on. For now, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is acting as interim head coach, and notched a big, revitalizing win this past weekend against the 4th ranked Chicago Bears defense. Those that watched the game will tell you it looked like a totally different team. Guys actually wanted to play and made the necessary adjustments to WIN.
So, while opinions about how to move forward abound, here is mine:
Offensive minded or defensive minded, it doesn’t really matter. What I want to see is a head coach with the ability to not only connect with the locker room, but incite enthusiasm! Any new head coach hire is going to be somewhat of a gamble. The ability to inspire your guys, scheme to utilize each player to the absolute best of their abilities, and garner respect while at the helm is a necessity for an organization that has been plagued by the “losing mentality” stigma year in and year out. It’s time to light a fire in Detroit! One that won’t fade, and that will help to change the culture for years to come. It’s time to build our own identity, not try to be the next Patriot’s North. It’s time for a winner. *Please, please, please begs this desperate Lions fan*
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