Bob Wojnowski, John Niyo and Justin Rogers talk about Matt Patricia's new defense in Part 2 of Lions Lowdown after minicamp. The Detroit News
Welp, at least for Matt Patricia, there's nowhere to go but up.
The Detroit Lions' first-year head coach is No. 32 — dead last — among NFL head coaches, according to the Sporting News' rankings, posted Tuesday.
But, don't read too much into it, Lions' fans: Even the rankings' author isn't putting a lot of stock in it.
"Chill out, Lions fans," writes Bill Bender, the Sporting News' national college football writer. "It's tough to rank first-year coaches, and this could just as easily be any of the other first-year guys."
Patricia replaced Jim Caldwell, who was fired after four seasons in Detroit, which included a 36-28 regular-season record and two (brief) playoff appearances.
Patricia spent 14 years in New England, the last six serving as the Patriots' defensive coordinator. Under Patricia, the Patriots averaged fewer than 20 points allowed each of the last four seasons, something no other team in the NFL accomplished during the stretch.
"The 43-year-old former Patriots defensive coordinator should be able to incorporate what he learned in New England to keep Detroit in the playoff hunt," Bender writes. "That said, Patricia is under the most scrutiny early, and Detroit is not an easy place in which to coach."
Patricia's former boss in New England, Bill Belichick, leads the list.