ALLEN PARK, Mich. — New Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia hasn’t met Matthew Stafford personally, however he has completed his scouting. As the New England Patriots‘ defensive coordinator, Patricia confronted him through the 2017 preseason and as soon as, in 2014, through the common season.
What stood out probably the most concerning the quarterback he is now going to educate — the quarterback who will likely be one of the keys to Patricia’s success or failure in Detroit — was the issues Stafford brought on throughout Patricia’s preparations.
He will not publicly criticize his quarterback lower than every week after he was employed, however the quarterback Patricia confronted in 2014, when Stafford accomplished 18 of 46 passes for 264 yards and one interception, is totally different than the one he’s inheriting.
Stafford goes to be crucial to Patricia’s success or failure with the Lions. General supervisor Bob Quinn additionally has so much driving on Stafford after signing him to an extension by way of the 2022 season that made the quarterback the very best-paid participant within the NFL till final week, when Jimmy Garoppolo surpassed him.
All three are tied together now. Based off Stafford’s contract and Adam Schefter’s report that Quinn and Patricia’s contracts additionally undergo 2022, how the three of them carry out may lead the Lions to the success they’re in search of — or to Detroit having the choice for a whole overhaul of the teaching employees, entrance workplace and quarterback on the identical time.
Stafford has improved as a quarterback over the previous 4 seasons. Since Patricia final confronted him within the common season, Stafford has elevated his consistency, upping his completion share and touchdowns whereas seeing his interceptions drop. He additionally has way more command of the offense beneath coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, whom Patricia retained, than he did beneath former coordinator Joe Lombardi.
The 30-year-outdated quarterback accomplished 65.7 % of his passes final 12 months for four,446 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Patricia mentioned he did not see a lot of Stafford within the second half of this previous season as a result of there have been few crossover video games between the Lions — who confronted the AFC North this season — and the Patriots.
“From game-planning against him in the past, as you go through and you look at quarterbacks and say, ‘OK, hey, this is a really smart quarterback or this is a guy that’s a very mobile quarterback or a really strong arm or very accurate or has complete control of the offense,'” Patricia advised ESPN final week. “Or possibly it is a system-pushed offense or it is a coordinator-pushed offense, regardless of the case could also be.
“You begin going by way of Stafford and you are like, ‘Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. S—. Oh boy.’ You’re simply checking off the packing containers going, ‘This goes to be an issue.’ Which I am glad to have that on the opposite aspect of it, in order that’s good.”
Patricia goes to have so much of issues he’ll must take care of early in his tenure — discovering higher safety for Stafford must be a precedence — however Stafford is not one of them.
Patricia was formally launched as Lions coach on Wednesday, the identical day Stafford turned 30 years outdated. That led to a straightforward opening dialog between coach and quarterback — calling to want Stafford a cheerful birthday.
“We had an ideal dialog [Tuesday] evening,” Patricia said during his opening news conference a week ago. “Very a lot so how’s every little thing going and I am excited and simply get him an opportunity to know who I’m and converse to me on the cellphone.
“I look forward to meeting all of our players, you know.”
That’ll come over the following couple of months, however the sooner he and Stafford really feel snug with one another, the simpler it could possibly be for Patricia with regards to everybody else.