Allen Park — If Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia has been told by team ownership that he'll be back for the 2020 season, he isn't sharing that information.
"You know what, I have conversations (with owner Martha Ford) all the time," Patricia said. "I like to keep all of that stuff private as I think it’s important to do. Again, for me, it’s just every day, it’s one day at a time, just trying to go in and do everything I can to be a better coach today, a better coach tomorrow, and we’ll go from there."
Speaking in generalities, Patricia said he expects to be with the Lions every day until he's told not to be, even making a joke about how he deals with the stress of the uncertainty.
"When I was in other places, and worked at other places, part of the thing that just makes me me is that I go into work every single day trying to earn my job that day," Patricia said. "I would go in and make sure that my key card worked, and I was in the building and I was 'OK.' It’s mostly the reason why I don’t leave the building, because they’re going to have to throw me out."
The Lions have floundered in Patricia's second season. After inheriting a team that had posted a 9-7 record each of the previous two seasons, the team limped to a 6-10 mark in 2018 before stumbling to a 3-10-1 mark through 14 games this year.
Detroit is currently in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, with many of the defeats coming as the result of getting outplayed in the fourth quarter. Throughout the struggles, Patricia has continued to praise his team's will to fight, despite everything, including mounting injuries.
Asked why he believes the team continues to put forth maximum effort in the face of a lost and dismal season, Patricia highlighted the team's chemistry and makeup.
"One of the things that was evident in the game just for me as a coach watching our team, I think these guys really care about each other," Patricia said. "I think there is a lot of camaraderie in that locker room.
"I think that’s the thing to me as a coach that I look at and say, ‘This team is going to fight, this team cares about each other, they’re not going to let each other down, they’re really trying to work together to do what we’re supposed to do,’" Patricia said. "Again, we’re not perfect, we obviously have a long way to go and we have some things that we have to fix. But at least the team itself cares about each other and that’s something that I think is why they fight so hard."
But does Patricia believe effort alone will be enough to save his job after two disappointing seasons?
"We just look at, ‘OK, what are we building? What have we started and where is our foundation right now?’," Patricia said. "I think having a foundation of a team that is tough, a foundation of a team that is competitive, from a standpoint that they’re going to come to work every day and try to get better, and then show up on Sunday and really try to do everything they can to compete.
"I think that’s where you need to start, and I would say that’s where we’re at right now," Patricia said. "We obviously need to add some pieces, and we need to get better, and we need to improve, and hopefully stay a little bit more healthy than where we’re at right now. I think those things will build on top of each other form there. But certainly, from a standpoint of trying to put a good foundation, a solid foundation down of being about something from a team. I would say that we’ve shown at least a foundation of being a tough team, being a competitive team, being a team that won’t quit."
The Lions head to Denver this weekend before returning home to play Green Bay in the season finale on Dec. 29. With one more loss, the team is assured a top-five draft pick.