Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McDaniels: 'Big challenge' facing Matt Patricia, Lions

Ryan Hannable
September 18, 2018 - 1:42 pm

It will be a strange sight in Detroit Sunday night with Matt Patricia coaching on the sideline opposite Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels. Patricia had been with the Patriots since 2004 before taking the Lions' head-coaching job this offseason.

The Lions are 0-2, but that doesn't mean anything to McDaniels and the Patriots.

"I’m sure he’s going to try to do the best job he can of getting his team ready to play the team that we have this year," McDaniels said on a conference call Tuesday. "He knows our system very well. You have to balance that out I think. You can’t try to get every guy in your building to know everything that they’re doing or could do or potentially could do or you could overwhelm them. There’s a balance there. I think the focus you need to have is on your team, which I’m sure Matt will do. He’s already doing a good job of that – focusing on his team, the things he can control, as we will do. We’re going to try to focus on the things that we can control. We don’t have any control over the things that they choose to do or how they’re going to line up different players or what schemes they’re going to use. We’re going to prepare as best we can, try to make it as normal a week of preparation as we possibly could. We have our normal seven days to do it in, as he does.

"But you know, it’s an exciting time, I’ll say that. He knows a lot of us here, we know him, he’s a great friend and a good person and we’ve had a lot of great memories and opportunities to work together over the years. I’m sure he’s going to be eager and excited to have the opportunity to compete against some of the guys that he’s been with for a number of years, as we will. That’s what this is all about, going out there and giving our best and trying to do the best thing we can for our teams, which I know his team’s going to do."

Related: Watch every Patriots game season this season with fuboTV -- click to start free trial now

Knowing Patricia for as long as he has, McDaniels noted it will be fun, but also a challenge.

"Two things strike me right off the top. One, neither one of us will be in a helmet and pads on Sunday night, thank God. And, the outcome of these games will always be determined by who plays best and whose guys go out there and execute, run, block, tackle, throw and catch, cover, defend and all those things," he said. "Those are the things that are going to determine the outcome. It won’t be myself and Matt out there doing anything. But, it is a fun challenge.

"Matt’s been a great friend of mine for a long time. He’s extremely talented as a coach, he’s a great person and he’s – I’m excited for him to have this opportunity to be the head coach of the Lions. I think right now we’re probably all in the same boat in the National Football League and that’s in the situation of trying to improve our football teams and trying to improve our side of the ball so that we can get better from Week 1 to Week 2, Week 2 to Week 3 and continue our improvement throughout the course of the season. He’s always been very difficult to coach against when he was here. He does a lot of different things that challenge you schematically. He’ll keep you off balance. There’s definitely an element of spinning the wheel with Matt that you’re really going to have to do a great job of being alert and aware and doing a great job of communicating during the course of the game, and there’s no question that you’re going to have to make some adjustments."

The Lions have allowed 78 points in two games so far this season.

Related: Josh McDaniels explains sideline outburst Sunday