NFL Coaching Rumors: Lions reportedly expected to hire Patriots DC Matt Patricia

The Patriots casually took care of business in a 35-14 TKO of the Titans Saturday night, to no one's surprise. To some surprise on Sunday: Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is "likely" heading to Detroit to take the Lions job once New England's season wraps up. 

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Patricia is expected to be the next Lions coach, shunning overtures from the Giants to join his old friend Bob Quinn, the former Patriots personnel man turned Lions GM.

Patricia has been one of the hottest names in coaching circles for the last two years, interviewing with the Rams and Chargers last year and being linked to the Lions, Giants and Cardinals.

He has been described as "smart enough to be a general manager" at one point; Patricia is literally a rocket scientist.

The game of coaching musical chairs this offseason hasn't been as heated as some would think. Only six teams ended up with vacancies at the head coach position, with five teams firing their coach and Bruce Arians walking away from the Cardinals. It was believed both Patricia and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be hot names. 

Once the Lions fired Jim Caldwell, it was obvious one of the Patriots coordinators would land there. And the Lions job is a good one, primarily thanks to the presence of Matthew Stafford. Having a franchise quarterback changes the perception of any coaching job.

The presence of Quinn as the GM is a big plus too. Patricia is making a leap to a franchise where he will feel comfortable working with his boss, having interacted with him in the context of a football front office before. More so than anything, a GM/coach relationship can really derail a franchise when things aren't going perfectly. 

Patricia's defenses have been quintessential Pats defenses since he took over as defensive coordinator in 2012. They bend but don't break: every single season with New England, his defenses have ranked in the top-10 in points allowed. Even this year, with the Patriots giving up the 29th most yards in the NFL, they were ranked fifth in points allowed. 

Expect Quinn and Patricia to be asked questions about his decision to wear a "Roger Goodell Clown" shirt after the Pats beat the Falcons last year in the Super Bowl. And probably about whether his beard, which is pretty glorious, was a concern for teams. The NFL is weird. 

With Patricia off the board, it leaves the Colts, Cardinals and Giants scrambling for head coaches. McDaniels is the next domino to fall in that group, although neither he nor Patricia can officially be hired until the Pats are eliminated from the playoffs. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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