NFL

Matt Patricia was almost unrecognizable at his Lions press conference

"We gotta start over every year."

Matt Patricia appeared to have left his iconic unkempt look back in New England. Steven Senne / AP

Like when Johnny Damon joined the New York Yankees, Matt Patricia appears to have cleaned up his look.

The former Patriots defensive coordinator was introduced as the Detroit Lions head coach Wednesday — without his most recognizable feature, or at least most of it.

Patricia appeared to have shaved his infamously bushy facial hair, ditching his lumberjack look for a more closely trimmed beard. Patricia recently told The Detroit News that the iconic beard, which he had donned since 2011, was a tribute to his friends serving in the military overseas. According to the 43-year-old, he has in the past cleaned up the beard during previous offseasons, at the behest of his wife, Raina.

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“We gotta start over every year, so we gotta get it anew,” he said during Wednesday’s press conference, after a reporter jokingly congratulated him on “not botching” the trim.

Patricia previously told The Detroit News that the beard “goes through phases.”

“Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it goes down,” he said. “It’s good because I can duck in and out of places. At certain points, it’s like a diet program when I shave it down. Everyone thinks I’ve lost some weight.”

In his first day touring Detroit’s facilities, Patricia was also without the backwards hat he was usually seen wearing in New England. However, he does appear to have obtained a Lions cutoff windbreaker, and had his trademark pencil tucked behind his ear during the press conference.

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