After his failed tenure as head coach of the Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia is unsurprisingly heading back to where he’s comfortable.
According to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, Patricia is returning to the New England Patriots’ staff for 2021. Patricia’s official title is not yet known, but he will assist the staff in “a variety of roles.”
The Patriots do not have a formal defensive coordinator. Steve Belichick has been in charge of calling defensive plays, and it does not appear Patricia’s return will see him stripped of that responsibility, at least for now.
Patricia forged a solid reputation as New England’s defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017, and he had served on the team’s coaching staff in a variety of roles since 2004. He went just 13-29-1 as coach of the Lions, with his defense devolving into one of the league’s worst units during his final season in charge.
Patricia’s return to the New England staff is similar to other ex-Patriots assistants who have returned after failed head-coaching gigs. One in particular has rehabilitated himself enough to possibly get another shot. Patricia may hope to do the same.