Either Matt Patricia is trying to shave off the failure from the Super Bowl or he wanted to look presentable for his new job. Either way, he looked different Wednesday.
Sporting a heavily trimmed beard, the former Patriots defensive coordinator was introduced as the 307th head coach in Lions history (feels like it, anyway) Wednesday in Detroit. He used the opportunity to thank Bill Belichick for all he taught him, but was quick to stress that he’s not his former boss.
"There's only one coach Belichick," said Patricia. "He's in New England. I'm Matt Patricia. I'm my own guy. I have my own style, but I'll take all those lessons about how to teach and coach that we had in New England that I think are strong."
Patricia also batted down a question about Belichick’s past assistants who struggled in head coaching spots elsewhere.
“Whatever anyone’s done in the past, it doesn’t have anything to do with me,” Patricia said.
Perhaps surprisingly, Patricia was not asked any questions about the Patriots’ benching of Malcolm Butler in their Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. He did stick a pencil behind his ear, though.
There have been all kinds of theories of what ultimately kept Josh McDaniels from taking the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.
NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran offered his here and here. Ex-Pats linebacker Willie McGinest said he was told it wasn't because McDaniels was promised to eventually succeed Bill Belichick.
Now comes Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who told NBCSports Network's "PFT Live" that you can cross off the theory that McDaniels' reversal was about not wanting to move his family to Indianapolis.
“This had nothing to do with his family,” King said. “It was about the Patriots giving him a better option than Indianapolis.”
More here from NBCSports.com's Pro Football Talk.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has hinted about walking away from football at 28 and apparently World Wrestling Entertainment is listening.
According to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer newsletter, WWE is willing to offer Gronk a "similar style deal" that it offered UFC star Ronda Rousey, who made her WWE debut late last month, is scheduled to be part of its "Elimination Chamber" event Feb. 25 and is being advertised as being part of their WrestleMania signature event April 8.
Gronk was part of Wrestlemania last year (see video below) and his friend, wrestler Mojo Rawley, hinted earlier this week that Gronkowski might be looking to give up football for the ring. Gronk has also reportedly been considering retiring to pursue a movie career.