Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is heading into his second year as the head coach for the Detroit Lions, and this week Patricia was reunited with his former team as the Patriots and Lions met up for a joint training camp leading up to their game Thursday.
During media availability, Patricia discussed his time with the Patriots, and how he used players he is familiar with to create the culture he wants.
“It’s always good when you bring guys in that you’re familiar with and kind of already have a background from that standpoint,” Patrcia said. “They understand what — for me as a head coach, what I expect and what we’re trying to do.”
Patricia was a part of Bill Belichick’s staff in New England starting in 2004, all the way up until Patricia left to become the head coach of the Lions in 2017. This long tenure with the Patriots led to Patricia talking about how his relationship with Belichick impacted his career as a coach.
“I really appreciate him, not only someone that helped me develop my career and coaching along with the other coaches I worked for, but as a friend,” Patricia said.
But Patricia wants to make it clear that when they step on the field, it’s all business.
“I’m the head coach of the Lions, he’s the head coach of the Patriots. We are in a very competitive business and he’s running his organization, and we’re trying to do the best we can here. We just try to focus on our teams.”
And with a lot of questions being asked about the impact of the Patriots on Patricia and his team, Patricia wanted to make it clear that they are building their own culture in Detroit.
“The culture here is strictly Lions culture. We’re trying to build our own culture here, and we’re just trying to bring in the right guys,” said Patricia. “For us it’s about building the Lions.”
The Lions and Patriots both open their preseason this Thursday, Aug. 8, against each other at Ford Field in Detroit.