Patriots

Patricia will be entering whole new world as a head coach

Patricia will be entering whole new world as a head coach

Over the past few days, Matt Patricia interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Cardinals, Giants and Lions.

The best fit? The one that’s offered. Sell high.

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The Patriots have won two Super Bowls in three seasons, they are favorites to get back to another. When will Patricia -- or any Patriots employee -- enjoy higher marketability? He doesn’t need to step as lightly as Josh McDaniels, who is in his second-time around. Take a job, get paid more, figure out how good you are at a wholly different level of responsibility.

Mike Florio reported that the Patriots are “bracing” for Patricia’s departure and the expectation is he’ll go to Detroit

That’s a great landing spot. There’s a very good quarterback contractually locked up for the long term. It’s not a full-on rebuild -- 9-7 the past two years and 36-28 over the last four seasons. The GM is someone Patricia’s friends with -- former Patriots executive Bob Quinn.

Assuming Patricia gets the job, the next question becomes, “How will he do?”

My only answer would be a shrug. I have no idea what his true voice is. He probably doesn’t either.

The adjustment from being a muzzled underling under a brilliant coach to commanding the room with 53 players AND media, sponsors, team executives and the fanbase ain’t easy. Never mind Bill Belichick famously struggled with it in Cleveland after he was freed from Bill Parcells. Eric Mangini eventually ran aground in New York. McDaniels flamed out in Denver. Charlie Weis was an amalgam of Parcells and Belichick. He brought the Parcells’ bluster and Belichick’s bluntness. But both Notre Dame and Kansas paid him a lot of money to not coach there anymore.

One guy whose voice was unmistakably his own was Bill O’Brien. His style and authenticity at Penn State -- which he had to put on display because of the scandal he inherited -- didn’t feel borrowed.

Being a coach is about preparation, X's and O's, leadership and getting buy-in. The group you need to convince is tiny. And it’s easier for them to believe you’re capable when you have a larger-than-life figure like Belichick looming behind you.

Being a HEAD coach? Way different. It’s corporate. Appearances matter. Sideline comportment matters. The ability to speak candidly matters. And if you’re thinking, “Belichick’s not candid and gets away with it . . . " you’re not appreciating the years it took Belichick to earn the right to be dismissive at the podium.

The seat in 2001 was warm when the Patriots started 0-2 and Drew Bledsoe got his artery sheared. It took Tom Brady to cool it off. (This is a perfect spot for a “People forget that . . . ”).

Jerod Mayo swears by Patricia. So do scores of other players on the Patriots defense, as Mike Giardi’s well-sourced piece from earlier this week showed.  Player after player gave testimonials about Patricia the coach and the human.

The players in Detroit will love him too. Until they don’t. Since he can’t be officially unveiled as head coach until after the Patriots season ends, they’ll have plenty of time to consider how Patricia’s hiring will affect them. And then they’ll meet him. And they will process their first impressions. So will the media. Then everyone will compare notes.

If Patricia continues to be the obfuscating, generalizing, waterfall of words he’s been as a coordinator in New England -- “obviously” has long been his favorite on weekly conference calls -- it will be held against him.

If you don’t think presentation matters, consider the guy who just got the toe to possibly clear room for Patricia.

Jim Caldwell looked on the sidelines like he took on the mannequin challenge long before it was a thing and stuck with it long after it died. He committed no crimes against football. And it’s not a stretch to say he’s not working for the Lions anymore because of how he came across.  

I have no doubt Patricia can work adroitly in the back-channel, Machiavellian world of being a head coach. None.

But I’m not convinced he’ll be nearly as convincing as a head coach as he’s been as Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator. 

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Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

On Wednesday, the NFL announced a new policy on players protesting during the National Anthem.

The new policy permits players to stay in the locker room while the anthem plays, but requires them to stand if they come on to the field.

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, now with the Eagles, shared his thoughts on the controversial change via Twitter:

His teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, ripped the new policy on Twitter as well.

Devin and Jason McCourty showed their support for Long and Jenkins' statements by reposting them on their Twitter account:

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Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

A source confirms that Tom Brady was not working out at his TB12 sports medicine facility at Patriot Place in Foxboro while his teammates were on the field at OTAs as was previously reported by the Boston Herald.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, the other notable absence from OTAs, has been at the TB12 facility on the days his teammates were on the field practicing and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who participated in the first day of OTAs, has also been at TB12, according to the source.

The Herald's Karen Guregian reported on Tuesday that both Brady and Gronkowski were at TB12 on Monday, which is right next to Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots were practicing. 

Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak and Bertrand" show said Brady likely wasn't even in the country this week.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday that Brady and Gronk are expected to participate in the mandatory mini-camp at Gillette June 5-7.

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