Matt Patricia Could Be The Anti-Ben McAdoo For The Giants
If the Giants were to hire the bearded, backward-hat wearing Matt Patricia, they may have the polar opposite of their last head coach
According to multiple reports, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is considered to be the front-runner for the New York Giants head coaching vacancy.
“Matt Patricia appears to have the edge in the New York Giants’ coaching search after the first round of interviews. The New England Patriots defensive coordinator, who seems to permanently carry a pencil in his ear and once wore a shirt that pictured commissioner Roger Goodell as a clown, may eventually become the 18th head coach in Giants history.” — ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
It’s important to take any news of a “front-runner” with a grain of salt, though. This search process has been ever-changing, as it seems like a new favorite emerges every day. Things change quickly, and the Detroit Lions likely still want Patricia as well.
There are other candidates being considered for the Giants head coaching job as well. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, along with Patricia, consist of the Giants’ final candidates.
With that being said, it does feel like Patricia truly is the favorite. And if he is, it’s tough to look at it as anything other than a positive. New York’s interest in Patricia isn’t hard to understand.
For starters, he’s an actual genius. Patricia attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he majored aeronautical engineering. He also has a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Patricia had an opportunity to become a legitimate rocket scientist.
So yes, Patricia has the smarts off the field, and is a genius when it comes to non-football things.
But that’s obviously not the reason he’s so highly sought after. Patricia is considered to be the purest Bill Belichick protege. His first job in the NFL was with the Patriots, and he’s been there ever since. Patricia started as an offensive assistant, and worked as the team’s assistant offensive line, linebackers and safeties coach prior to becoming the defensive coordinator in 2012.
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Additionally, Patricia has the ever-so-important Bill Belichick stamp of approval. Consider it the Oprah’s Book Club of the NFL.
Jimmy Garoppolo unofficially received it when Belichick denied trade requests for the young stud (until he ultimately pulled the trigger on the trade. Or was forced to pull the trigger, depending on what you believe). A 2016 article written by Sports Illustrated’s Tim Rohan details Belichick’s close relationship with Patricia, which helps drive home the point that BB really likes the guy.
Hiring Patricia would be a great move by the Giants. After having a head coach as dull as an unsharpened pencil who would seldom criticize areas that needed criticism, bringing in a guy like Patricia would be great. He’s got the defensive pedigree, as well as experience with offense.
In a way, hiring Patricia would give the Giants an anti-Ben McAdoo figure.
Whereas McAdoo was touted as an “offensive guru” for a few seasons with Green Bay as a quarterbacks coach, Patricia’s experience is much, much more sustainable and noteworthy.
Patricia’s defense has helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls during his time in New England. While they may not be the most statistically dominant, Patricia is able to get his guys to step up in big moments and contribute when it matters most.
One of the best stories about Patricia is how he once ripped his defense for allowing seven points to the Atlanta Falcons. I’ll say it again. Seven points to Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Furthermore, Patricia once tore into his players for allowing a touchdown in 7-on-7 scrimmages (according to Kevin Dillon of Mass Live.com). That’s a kind of guy who seriously believes in the mentality that the way you practice is the way you play.
Although he can at times be demanding, his players respect him, and understand he just wants the best from them. But you’d almost rather have that than a guy like McAdoo who seldom offered any real emotion — good or bad.
However, Patricia isn’t only a militant figure. He has the ability to empathize and relate with his players.
An additionally quote from Duron Harmon from the aforementioned article written by Dillon helps illuminate the relationship Patricia maintains with his players.
“I would say the most important thing that he has for me is his attitude. His desire, his passion for the game. His passion for not only the game, but for his players. To continue to push us and make sure that we never take the day off or we are never slacking. And if we are slacking, he’s going to let us know, because he knows how talented we are and he knows what we can be.”
In the time Ben McAdoo was head coach of the Giants, it’s hard to pinpoint a player giving him a glowing vote of confidence like that.
He seems to have the personality to deal with New York media, as well as the obvious experience and “it” factor that McAdoo sorely, unquestionably lacked. From what it sounds like, Patricia may actually be similar to former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin — albeit with a completely different appearance and wardrobe.
Patricia would have to have an efficient plan for rebuilding the offense, though. That’s really the lone major caveat with the Giants hiring a defensive-minded coach.
Of course, the Giants can’t officially hire Patricia until after the Patriots are eliminated from the post-season. Conventional wisdom suggests that won’t be for at least another week, as the Patriots have the clear advantage over the Titans.
However, it’s possible the hire becomes public knowledge, and a badly kept secret. After all, it’s what happened last year with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.
The Giants should look to make this decision final as soon as they possibly can. Patricia would be a breath of fresh air after the McAdoo debacle. He would bring in old ideas and concepts adopted from Belichick, as well as new ones conjured up in his own rocket-scientist brain.
Talk Giants with Ryan on Twitter: @ryandisdier