After three substandard years as the Detroit Lions head coach, Matt Patricia is reportedly returning to the team where he forged a reputation as a defensive mastermind.
According to multiple reports Friday afternoon, Patricia is rejoining the New England Patriots to serve as an assistant in a variety of roles.
The news, which was first reported by The Boston Globe, comes after the former Patriots defensive coordinator left to become the Lions head coach in 2018. However, the 46-year-old was fired midseason in November — along with Lions general manager Bob Quinn — with the team on its way to its third-straight last-place finish in the NFC North under his reign. He finished with a record of 13-29-1.
Before his departure, Patricia had been with the Patriots for 14 seasons, working his way up from various position coach posts to defensive coordinator, from 2012 through 2017, during which the team won two Super Bowls. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has not given anyone else on his staff the “defensive coordinator” title since Patricia left.
As the Globe noted, Patricia is hardly the first former Patriots assistant to come back for a second stint with the team. He’ll join current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh Daniels, who twice left New England only to later return. After leaving in 2009, McDaniel worked as the Denver Broncos head coach and St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator before rejoining the Patriots in 2012. He also very briefly agreed to join the Indianapolis Colts as head coach before later changing his mind.
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