The Lions gave coach Matt Patricia an unofficial ultimatum earlier than the 2020 season — win sufficient video games to make Detroit a playoff contender or count on to get replaced in 2021. With his crew now at 4-6 and in final place within the NFC North, it has little probability of constructing the postseason and Patricia has even much less of an opportunity of holding his job.
Through Week 11 of the 2020 season, Patricia has a three-year mark of 13-28-1. There have been many low factors throughout his quick tenure, however Sunday’s 20-0 loss on the Panthers, one other lowly NFC opponent, was the nadir.
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Despite the Panthers beginning backup quarterback P.J. Walker, the protection — Patricia’s supposed specialty — was gashed by go and run alike. The offense confirmed even much less life with Matthew Stafford, who was lacking vast receiver Kenny Golladay and working again D’Andre Swift.
After profitable back-to-back video games following their Week 5 bye to get to 3-3, the Lions have dropped three of their previous 4 video games and proven no indicators of enhancing. They shall be within the nationwide highlight on Thanksgiving in opposition to Deshaun Watson and the Texans — who simply beat Patricia’s former crew, Bill Belichick’s Patriots.
Detroit shall be parting methods with Patricia, barring an inconceivable turnaround. It has turn into extra a matter of when, not if. With that in thoughts, listed below are six names to look at as soon as the Lions start their seek for a substitute.
Robert Saleh, 49ers defensive coordinator
Saleh, 41, is a Dearborn, Mich., native, which might make the job interesting to him. He has carried out very effectively with San Francisco’s protection this season in relation to the crew’s rash of main accidents. That’s coming off main an elite Super Bowl-caliber unit in 2019. He’s a sensible, fiery coach who motivates his gamers effectively. He can also clear up loads of the messes created by Patricia and Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin and produce up a younger group.
Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator
Bieniemy, 51, is your best option if the Lions need to go player-friendlier and give attention to the opposite aspect of the ball with their new coach. He’s a deserving subsequent department of the Andy Reid teaching tree. He has been key within the growth of Patrick Mahomes and would enhance the Lions’ offense, whether or not or not it is nonetheless operated by Stafford. Bieniemy would have an incredible affect on Swift and provides the unit extra steadiness and explosiveness.
Kevin O’Connell, Rams offensive coordinator
O’Connell, 35, is the following younger hotshot working underneath Sean McVay. He was briefly with the Lions as a quarterback in 2009, the 12 months Stafford was drafted No. 1 general. He has discovered quick and been educating gamers effectively. Like the above two potential candidate right here, he could be an clever get for the Lions.
Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator
Moore, 32, spent the primary three seasons of his quarterbacking profession (2012-14) behind Stafford in Detroit. He joined the Cowboys in 2015 as a backup and has since loved a meteoric rise as an astute offensive thoughts and play-caller. He’s chargeable for serving to to show Dak Prescott into an elite QB. Moore’s mindset can also be to be explosive however balanced. He might rejuvenate the Lions’ offense with or with out Stafford.
Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers offensive coordinator
File Leftwich, 40, in the identical class because the three assistants forward of him on this record. There are questions, nonetheless, as as to whether Detroit is the appropriate spot for him and whether or not that is the appropriate time for him to maneuver. It’s attainable he is being groomed to take over quickly for Bucs coach Bruce Arians, 68. He has labored effectively with Tom Brady and Jameis Winston and has discovered his groove as a play-caller. As a former notable QB not far faraway from enjoying, he additionally connects effectively with everybody.
Joe Brady, Panthers offensive coordinator
Put another thrilling OC on the record. Brady simply helped the Panthers rip the Lions, so the opposite aspect must be intrigued by what he can do if he’s elevated to a head teaching job at solely 31. He may not be prepared for that leap, however Lions and different hiring groups want to offer Brady a name to search out out.