The Detroit Lions hired Matt Patricia on Monday, doubling down on the franchise’s hope it can copy the New England Patriots’ formula for success.
The expected hiring of the defensive coordinator came a day after the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
“This position comes with great responsibility,” Patricia said in a statement released by the Lions, “and I will commit every ounce of my energy to this football team, starting today.”
Lions general manager Bob Quinn made the move, reuniting with a man he worked with for more than decade in New England.
“He has been preparing for this opportunity his entire career, and he’s ready for the responsibility and its challenges,” Quinn said.
Quinn fired coach Jim Caldwell last month with a record eight games above .500 over four years and playoff appearances in 2016 and 2014.
The Lions were 9-7 this season and missed the playoffs.
Patricia was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator for six seasons, ending with his unit giving up 41 points and 538 yards to the Eagles.
Belichick mum on Butler’s benching
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was no more forthcoming about his surprise benching of one-time Super Bowl star Malcolm Butler.
Speaking on a conference call the day after the Patriots blew their chance at a sixth NFL title, Belichick said “there are a lot of things that go into that.” He declined to be specific.
Butler was one of the Patriots’ steadiest players this season, appearing in 98% of the defensive snaps and starting 17 of 18 games.
But the defensive back made it on the field for only one play Sunday — on special teams.
Suspect in Colts player's crash death deported twice
A man being held in a suspected drunk-driving crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver has twice been deported from the U.S., a revelation an Indiana congressman said should anger “all Americans.”
Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, remained jailed but has not been charged in Sunday’s deadly crash along Interstate 70 in Indianapolis.
State Police said Monday that the suspect is a citizen of Guatemala who gave officers a fake name when arrested after the predawn crash.
Investigators said he was deported in 2007 and 2009, and was again living illegally in the U.S.
Police said Jackson, who grew up in Atlanta, and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, were standing outside Monroe’s car along I-70 after Jackson became ill while Monroe was transporting him for the ride-hailing company.
Both men were struck and killed by a pickup truck driven by Orrego-Savala, police said.
Investigators said they believe Orrego-Savala, who lives in Indianapolis, was intoxicated and driving without a license.