The face of the Patriots defense? For many, it's Matt Patricia

The face of the Patriots defense? For many, it's Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia looks like an unmade bed. Beard unruly. Baseball hat on at all times. Pencil behind the ear. He wears shorts 360 days a year. Yep, he’s that guy. But the Patriots defensive coordinator has a loyal following that’s gone so far as to produce his likeness on t-shirts and sweatshirts.

“That’s the Barstool guys,” said Julian Edelman. “They’re behind it. I guess they know what sells.”

LeGarrette Blount was seen rocking one in the immediate aftermath of the AFC title game win over Pittsburgh.

“I mean, I didn’t make the shirt,” Blount said, “but I liked it so I put it on. Matty is cool.”

Patricia is legitimately flattered by the attention, though he’s not one to seek it out.

“Obivously, my face is on 'em. I didn’t make ‘em, but that’s my face,” he said, smiling. “You know, I love our players. Our players are great. I appreciate the support by everybody. As a team, we’ve got each other’s back, so that’s the best part.”

There’s no denying the closeness of his Pats team, but might there be a divide in the coaching offices, what with Matty P getting his own gear, but the accomplished Josh McDaniels with nothing like that to speak of?

“I’m not worried about that,” laughed McDaniels, clearly understanding we were just having a little fun. “Matty P has a better look for that. He’s got the beard.”

I asked the Pats offensive coordinator if he thought maybe he needed a new look to get himself his very own t-shirt.

“Did you think about doing something? Chops? Handlebar mustache? Something?’ McDaniels shook his head before saying, “No, no, no. Matter of fact, I need to get one [t-shirt]. Wasn’t [former Pats tight end] Jermaine Wiiggins wearing one the other day at the rally?”

Wiggins was indeed, just adding fuel to the merchandising machine that Patricia’s likeness is becoming.

“Hey, I don’t think Matty P is trying to do that,” laughed McDaniels. “That’s just his cool look. I mean come on? He has that guy that looks like him at the game [refering to one fan who likes to come to games dressed as Patricia].”

Actually, if you listen to Martellus Bennett, there are probably hundreds of fans who look just like McDaniels. And that’s part of his problem. 

“I think Josh’s face is probably a little bit harder to draw,” opined Bennett. “You draw Josh? That could be any white man on a shirt. At least Matt has the beard.”

Leave it to Bennett, an occasional artist, to boil this “situation” down to it’s most simple of points. However, that Patricia beard might find itself in jeopardy.

“I told him [Patricia] I’m gonna shave it in the locker room after the game Sunday,” said McDaniels. 

I responded by telling the 40-year McDaniels that the younger Patricia might cry.

“Oh, he would. He totally would,” McDaniels said. 

Of course, that would probably make the beard, t-shirts and sweatshirts a collector’s item. Maybe McDaniels should rethink that strategy...

Devin McCourty clarifies Malcolm Butler comments

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Devin McCourty clarifies Malcolm Butler comments

Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who said last week that he and his teammates knew Malcolm Butler wouldn't be starting in the Super Bowl, tried to clarify those comments in a SiriusXM radio interview Friday.

So, the players knew Butler wasn't starting, but as far as Butler not playing (he had one special teams appearance) at all? That mystery remains unsolved. 

McCourty stuck with the Patriot Way when asked in the SiriusXM interview if Butler would've helped the defense that surrendered 41 points to the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

"A lot hurt us...we didn't stop anything defensively...we can go down the list of Hall of Famers we could have used," McCourty said. 

Report: Bennett wants to keep playing, will it be with Pats?

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Report: Bennett wants to keep playing, will it be with Pats?

The Patriots tight end situation is in a state of flux as Rob Gronkowski contemplates retirement. Another Patriots tight end who was thinking about retirement, Martellus Bennett, wants to continue playing, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Bennett, who turns 31 next month, had a short second stint with the Patriots last season. He rejoined them after a controversial departure from Green Bay but only played in two games and caught six passes before he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury in November. In 2016, he played in all 16 games for the Patriots and caught 55 passes for 701 yards (12.7 yards per catch).