How Matt Patricia once tried to get Lions players upset with Cam Newton


When Matt Patricia left the New England Patriots to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2018, he attempted to take the "Patriot Way" with him.

That approach, to put it lightly, was a failure.

Patricia alienated a number of his players during the 2018 season with his Patriot-like coaching style. In a detailed piece titled "When the Patriot Way Goes Wrong," former Lions players explain to Bleacher Report's Kalyn Kahler how Patricia lost the locker room after replacing Jim Caldwell.

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One notable excerpt from Kahler's story involved Patriots quarterback Cam Newton. A former Lions player recalled Patricia trying to get the team upset with Newton -- then with Carolina Panthers -- by showing videos of his dancing and showboating.

That strategy backfired.

The player remembers the week preparing to play Carolina. He says Patricia played a video of Cam Newton dancing on the field and showed it to players, with the hopes of getting them riled up by his showboating. Instead, many players reacted positively, with then-safety Quandre Diggs shouting, 'No, we like that, Coach! Keep that running!' 

"Lo and behold, we're watching the video like, that's lit!" the player says. "You are showing us what we like. Cam dancing, that's cool to us. But you don't see it as that." 

Ironically, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has had the opposite approach and has encouraged his players to celebrate and showboat after big plays. There's no using the "Patriot Way" as an excuse for this one.


That Newton anecdote is far from the only one that explains how players turned on Patricia in 2018. You can read the full piece here.