Here’s a timeline centered on the injury and recovery efforts of the middle linebacker. (Updated through his Feb. 6 standing ovation at a Penguins game.)
Still, Kraft wasn’t just good — he was lucky.
Coach Doug Pederson echoed those thoughts when not answering a question about whether Foles and Wentz would openly compete for the top job in training camp. That would have been unthinkable query when Foles took over after Wentz, then a strong regular-season MVP candidate, went down against the Rams in December.
But remember how Foles’ counterpart Sunday, Tom Brady, never looked back after replacing Drew Bledsoe 16 seasons ago. It’s a little different this time, with Foles as the seasoned passer and Wentz as the rising youngster, but it’s just as fascinating.
But that’s where the relationship between Patricia and Quinn comes into play. Even if Quinn lets go of some talent in the name of salary cap space, which is projected to be a healthy $44.7 million for Detroit in 2018, Patricia won’t blink. We know that because of his track record with the Patriots in dealing with the departures of Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones, among others.
Change does not intimidate a coach who spent his early career with a team many call a chameleon because of its ability to morph when necessary. The Patriots with Patricia and Belichick were known for week-to-week changes in defensive schemes.
So Patricia possesses the smarts, the personality and the preparation habits needed to succeed as a head coach. And, Quinn claims, he brings the Lions the correct level of leadership, too.
“When we launched the search for our next head coach, I wanted to find a leader that could take us to the next level, and I am confident we have found that in Matt Patricia,” Quinn said. “He has been preparing for this opportunity his entire career, and he’s ready for the responsibility and its challenges.”