A coach’s decision to practice in the snow should not be particularly controversial. But Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia has found a way to make it so. It’s snowing controversy in Detroit.
Patricia took criticism on Thursday for having the Lions practice in the snow when their game on Sunday will be in the warm confines of Ford Field, an indoor stadium.
Grab your pitchforks!
“If I was the coach, you know what we’d be doing,” cornerback Darius Slay said, via the Detroit Free Press‘ Dave Birkett.
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And thus, Patricia addressed the outcry from players, fans and media during a press conference on Friday morning. This press conference was a telling reflection of Patricia’s profound insecurity. It was like watching a character from “Mean Girls.”
He read a statement in defense of his decision to send the 3-6 Lions out into the cold.
Because no one should ever have to read Patricia’s 891-word masterpiece of coach-speak. Here are the highlights.
- The nuts and bolts of Patricia’s defense: “Mud, snow, loose grass, whatever the case may be, focuses most of the skill players to keep their feet underneath them and play technically sound.”
- More: “The downside of practicing indoors on turf is the wear and effect that it has on the bigger-bodied players on our team. Standing on turf or running on turf for extended periods of time affects joints.”
- Zzzzzzz. *Jolts awake to yells about not slouching*
- A slice of Paticia’s pettiness: “There’s no more discussion, no more conversation about it. I’d like to move on and show a little more respect to Carolina. … We’re going to be practicing inside today, just so everybody is clear. All right? Make sure everybody is good with all the head coaches in the room on that. Everybody good there?”
Yes, Patricia is mocking the backseat head coaches who sit in the press box during game day. Patricia doesn’t like the media — the Detroit media doesn’t seem to like him.
Patricia’s poor relationship with Detroit media (and the national media) has led to a deeply adversarial environment during press conferences. And he didn’t get off to a strong start. The Detroit Free Press wrote that Patricia was in danger of losing the locker room — in training camp.
While Patricia’s press conferences have always seemed like a strange effort to over-explain without giving any details, the Lions coach has swung rogue by allowing the media to make mountains out of molehills.
Should the Lions have practice inside? Probably. Were there merits to practicing outside? Absolutely. By acknowledging this silly storyline, Patricia provides justification for second guessing, which stems from the fact that he’s probably second guessing himself. He’s not exactly pouring gasoline on the fire — he’s lighting fireworks off to start new fires.
Patricia reeks of a man with profound self doubt in a climate where things can only get worse — and seem to decline by the day.