So much for the no thanks we wrote about the other week regarding Gettleman. We move on and hope for the promise that Gettleman will learn from his past mistakes and experiences to move this organization back to relevance. It is a major positive to see Hart jettisoned as well as Marc Ross. We have our concerns about his insistence on running the draft room solo, which traces back to the sentiments of our December 13th post. Many of the same scouting faces and organizational structure remain. There is one prospect that will counterbalance and provide a fresh new approach to what we consider an old-school front office.
We have begun to hear reports of rumored interests as well as public requests for head coaching interviews. We have stale retreads like Mike Smith and (good grief) Jim “Lions” Schwartz. Yes, they have had success with retreads, with most notably Tom Coughlin. TC won playoff games in Jacksonville. These two have not. Perhaps they interview John Fox, but how many chances does he get after Carolina? Then we have the coordinators from Chiefs ST Coordinator Toub, Panthers DC Wilkes, Broncos RB coach Studdesville, Pats OC McDaniels and DC Patricia.
Mara has made it pretty clear with his press conference statement, when re-introducing Gettleman, the qualities they are looking for in their next HC. He prefers HC experience, but coordinators must have a decent amount of tenured experience behind an HC. This is the spook factor of McAclueless. So, this takes out guys like DeFillipo, Vrabel, Reich, Studdesvile and even Wilkes to an extent. An interesting comment by Gettleman was his expression that the candidate must have the skills of a teacher of football.
This traces us back to the counterbalance mentioned above. That prime candidate is Matt Patricia. He checks all the boxes for both Mara as well as Gettleman. He’s obviously from a winning organization. He’s worked his way up from coaching assistant to DC. He’s a teacher by nature in addition to his parents’ background as teachers by profession.
A lot of the dysfunction in the locker room stemmed from lack of leadership and relations with players by the former HC as well as front office. Patricia has a reputation as a players’ coach. On a personal level. I have always found more joy in the results of a kid achieving success whether through technical instruction, confidence building or just plain putting them in a position to succeed. This quote from Patricia sums this all up: “I really find more enjoyment out of watching individuals achieve their goals and succeed.” He is humble and unselfish. Always looking for ways to improve his players. A trait we did not see this past season within the organization that resulted in locker-room turmoil. Ninkovich had these revealing words about his time with Patricia:
Everyone’s got a certain button. He knows how to hit one of my buttons and I get going, and I look at him and I say, ‘How was that?’ And he’ll say, ‘Not good enough,’ or, ‘You can do better.’ Then I try to go out there and do the best that I can for him.
A trait we can admire is the ability to move on from players who have peaked in terms of their contract value. Patricia was introduced as a position coach with the LB position. He inherited players like Vrabel, Seau and Bruschi in his first year. Players like these were let go or retired, and Patricia molded his next crop to fit the identity of the Pats’ defense. Gettleman was quick to move on from the higher priced vets versus the value they returned. Here again is a philosophy they will share.
Even Belichick is awed by his mental acuteness and preparation. Belichick related:
He’s the kind of guy that he’s got 10 projects going at once and then you’re like, ‘Hey, Matt. Can you do this and do that?’ ‘Oh yeah, no problem.’ He’s got 12 going at once. Some of us can only handle barely one thing at a time. He’s the type of guy that can keep a lot of balls in the air.
His first coaching job as a graduate assistant impressed the HC of RIT where he “was gonna out-work you. He was gonna find a way to be successful. It helps to be as smart as he is, but he’ll put more time in than anyone else, too.”
We discussed the new GM and the effects of analytics on the game. Patricia introduced it to any position he has been granted, from an HVAC company to Bill Belichick film study sessions. It’s all about generating more efficiency in the process of evaluations. This is the skill that the FO severely lacks and clearly would benefit from in a HC who is on the ground floor.
Many will detract from Patricia given what they just endured with the projected genius they thought they had with McAdoo. The key difference is what experience did McAdoo bring to the table coming from Green Bay? A QB coach with Aaron Rodgers as the QB. Patricia started as coaching assistant, OL assistant coach, LBs coach, safeties coach and then eventually DC all 12 years in the Pats winning culture. He’s had his challenges with players leaving and bringing in new players to fit their system. He adapts and challenges his players getting the most out of them. Besides that, Belichick often leaned on him to accompany him on scouting trips.
Bottom line, we feel Patricia is the perfect compliment for some of the shortfalls of the front office. The words from his former and current players confirm his abilities to lead the team and individually.