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Lions coach Matt Patricia makes it clear that players matter more than scheme

Matt Patricia, Lions

The Detroit Lions did not string together an impressive campaign as a result of head coach Matt Patricia’s first season at the helm in 2018.

However, the former New England Patriots assistant coach hasn’t lost faith in the players on his Lions roster while admitting that he believes that players actually matter more than the scheme that surrounds them.

“It’s not as easy these days to say ‘do this just because,’” Patricia recently told The Athletic. “[The players] ask why. You try to show them the why, but for a lot of them, unless they experience the why, it doesn’t really resonate. That can really hurt you in the win-loss department. … The question is: How long does it take? No one knows. No one knows how long it takes to build it substantially. I know how far away we are compared to other teams — coaching, experience, talent, all the rest of it. We’re doing the best we can, developing our players, coaching our coaches better. We’re gonna teach better this year, we’re going to be able to get to smarter football better this year. They’ll understand it better the second year. And then once they understand it, they’re thinking along the lines of how we’re teaching it, then you’re really going.”

Of course, the Lions will be forced to duke it out with the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings come 2019.

With all three teams primed to serve as legitimate threats in both the division and entire NFC, Patricia must have his Lions playing up to the competition next season.