The Bill Belichick coaching tree has produced a bounty of dullards and faux hardmen, and it’s beginning to look like former Patriots defensive coordinator and first-year Lions head coach Matt Patricia is the juiciest offering yet.
Patricia really started to lean into the Belichickian cosplay a few weeks ago, when he scolded a reporter for not sitting up straight enough during a press conference, apparently failing to recognize the irony of a guy who looks like a walking laundry hamper making such a request. The act seems to have intensified since then, so much so that Patricia’s offensive coordinator now seems convinced that the Lions are a special forces unit:
Then came yesterday’s practice, which Patricia held outside, in the snow, despite the fact that the Lions have an indoor practice facility and will play their next four games indoors.
Whatever sort of motivational goal this move was meant to achieve, it doesn’t seem to have worked. Here’s what cornerback Darius Slay had to say to ESPN about his day spent shivering in the cold:
Slay said he was able to get his work done for the day, but practicing outside in the snow was “rough.” While he’s accustomed to playing in cold games — Detroit has played in Green Bay and Chicago late in the year during his career — Thursday’s practice was different because of the snow.
If Slay were Detroit’s coach, though, he probably would have taken a different approach.
“I ain’t the coach, so, yeah,” Slay said. “If I was the coach, yeah, you know what we would be doing.”
Look, you may not always like Patricia’s demeanor and tactics, but you can’t argue with his results: the Lions are 3-6 and nobody seems to like him very much.
Update (11:56 a.m.): At today’s press conference Patricia delivered a huffy, four-minute rant defending his decision to have the team practice in the snow: