Matt Patricia made it sound like 2018 is going to be a rebuilding year, which should not please Lions fans.
Last year, the Detroit Lions went 9-7 and finished just outside of the playoff picture. It wasn’t the offense that held them back, as quarterback Matt Stafford once again passed for over 4,000 yards. The big issue was the Detroit defense that ranked 27th overall and 21st in points allowed.
That was why the Lions went out and hired a new head coach in Matt Patricia, a defensive-minded coach who spent years as the defensive coordinator for arguably the greatest defensive-minded coach of all time (Bill Belichick). The thought-process in Detroit was that if Patricia can come in and fix the defense, then that might finally get them over the hump to where they can start winning playoff games.
But following some rough preseason performances by the Lions this year, Matt Patricia made some comments in his press conference on Thursday that likely won’t sit well with Lions fans. After finishing 9-7 last year, they don’t want to treat the 2018 season as a “rebuilding” year, but that’s what Patricia made it sound like he was doing.
“They understand that this is a long journey,” Patricia said about his players, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “This isn’t a sprint that’s going to take place overnight. This is something that’s going to take a long time to do.”
Considering Detroit came awfully close to making the playoffs last year, it really shouldn’t take a “long time” to get them back to that point. It’s not like Patricia is blowing up the roster and starting from scratch. The Lions brought him in to coach up a poor defense and make them better right now.
It shouldn’t take years to turn the Lions into a team that can win a playoff game, but it seems like that’s what Patricia’s mindset might be. If that’s truly the case, any Lions fan should not be happy about that.