According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles have hired former Detroit Lions head coach and New England Patriots assistant Matt Patricia as a senior defensive assistant.
During a press conference on Thursday, coach Nick Sirianni said that Patricia’s hiring was “trending” in the right way.
“Clearly, his resume speaks for itself.” It puts a fantastic thinker in there who has done it at the top level,” Sirianni said. “It gives you a great ability to bounce ideas off of the defensive staff, and it also gives me another former head coach to bounce ideas off of with things that I think would be very beneficial.”
Following the retirement of longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Patriots coach Bill Belichick turned to Patricia, the team’s defensive coordinator from 2012 to ’17, as the offensive playcaller in 2022. Patricia’s major experience in the NFL had been on defence, thus it was an unusual decision. Patricia, 48, was also tasked with crafting a new offensive strategy, upon which Belichick had obvious influence.
However, the intended outcomes did not materialise, as Belichick said at the conclusion of the Patriots’ 8-9 season: “It wasn’t what we want it to be or need it to be.”
As a result, on Jan. 26, the Patriots hired Bill O’Brien to return as offensive coordinator.
Patricia was the Lions’ head coach from 2018 to ’20, between stints with the Patriots, posting a 13-29-1 record. During his tenure in Detroit, he clashed with former Lions and current Eagles CB Darius Slay.
Slay told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein in 2020 that there were many situations that contributed to the breakdown of his friendship with Patricia. The most bothersome occurred after a training camp practise. Slay shared a photo of himself and a receiver who had caught a pair of passes on him that day on social media. Patricia posted the social media snapshot along with a little highlight clip of said player on the board before addressing Slay at the opening of the meeting later that night. Slay, then 29, said Patricia displayed the photo on the team board, effectively instructing him to quit sucking up to another player, but the coach used a more obscene simile.
“Yeah. That’s when all my respect for him went out the window. “As a man,” Slay said.
Sirianni said that he spoke with Slay about Patricia’s inclusion, which was previously publicised on the team’s website on Thursday before being immediately removed.
“Of course,” she says. “You go through and talk to guys and make sure everyone is comfortable with it, just like you do with anything,” Sirianni said. “I had conversations with Slay, and obviously with Coach Patricia, and I know it will be a good working relationship for us when that happens.”