Matt Patricia is a free agent after being fired by the Detroit Lions on Saturday. Could a return to the New England Patriots be in the cards?
Patricia's tenure as Lions head coach ended after Detroit's 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans at home on Thanksgiving. The loss dropped the Lions' record to 4-7. Patricia's final record with the Lions is 13-29-1, and the team never finished higher than last place in the NFC North in his two previous years in charge.
The 48-year-old coach spent six seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Patriots before leaving to join the Lions after Super Bowl LII.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked Monday during his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" if he had any interest in bringing Patricia back to Foxboro.
Belichick mostly evaded the question.
“I’d say right now we’re really focused on correcting the mistakes from the Arizona game and moving onto the Chargers," Belichick said. "It will be a big challenge for us out there, and then a short week out there with the Rams.
"That’s really where my focus has been in the last few hours since the end of the Arizona game and [there will be] a lot of other things to talk about at some point, but I’d say right now this is at the doorstep.”
Patricia obviously knows the Patriots well. He understands the culture, what it's like to work under Belichick and has championship experience -- New England won multiple Super Bowl titles with him on the coaching staff. Several of the players he coached in Foxboro remain with the team today, too.
Let's also not forget that Josh McDaniels wound up back with the Patriots after his first head coaching experience didn't go as planned with the Denver Broncos. So there is some precedent here.
The Patriots have lost several defensive coaches to opposing teams in recent years, so bringing in someone like Patricia who has a strong knowledge of the organization does make some sense.