In his second stint with the Patriots, Patricia currently holds the title of assistant to the head coach. Belichick has involved him heavily in the free agency and draft processes and praised his onetime defensive coordinator last week.
“It’s great to have Matt [Patricia] here. He’s an outstanding coach…I’m extremely glad he’s here,” Belichick said during a press conference last Thursday.
This morning, for the second time this month, Boston Globe writer Ben Volin took a look at what Patricia has been doing with the team and how varied his roles are before posing the question: could he be Belichick’s potential successor, either as head coach or GM?
In today’s @BGlobeSports: Matt Patricia has become the Patriots’ … contracts guy?
At minimum, Belichick is doing him a huge favor. At maximum, Belichick is grooming him to take over one day. https://t.co/scApeeiLu0
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) May 30, 2021
Now, it is very important to note this is all speculative at this point. Belichick appears to be providing Patricia with as many opportunities as possible to get hands-on experience, but that doesn’t mean he’s doing that with the intention of having the 46-year-old replace him in New England.
Not surprisingly though, the reaction from fans and some media to the possibility of Patricia taking over for Belichick was not a positive one. After all, Patricia’s tenure in Detroit was a disaster in pretty much every possible way.
Or they could not. Nobody knows. https://t.co/M598kR0zkC
— Pats Pulpit (@patspulpit) May 30, 2021
All 31 other NFL teams are invoking @BartScott57 and saying "Can't wait"
Also, poor Josh McDaniels if that happens, how many jobs did he turn away because he was expecting to replace Belichick? https://t.co/xXFrVGNBoB
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 30, 2021
Please let this happen. The guy has worked hard, is well-liked in the locker room, and has a sterling reputation. https://t.co/wrhkFHyeXs
— Anthony Broome (@anthonytbroome) May 30, 2021
In two-plus seasons with the Lions, Patricia went 13-29-1, alienating several of his best players in the process. Simply put, he didn’t look ready to handle the responsibilities of running his own team.
That’s probably why Belichick is grooming him the way he is now. Time will tell if he’s doing so with the intention of having him take over the reins in Foxboro.