By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — If Matt Patricia has made anything clear this year, it’s that he does not give one speckle of excreta what outside critics say about him.
Frankly, you have no choice but to respect it.
The coach’s latest foray into angering seemingly everybody came Wednesday, when he held an outdoor practice for his Detroit Lions. It would seem to be an odd decision for the head coach, considering Detroit will be playing at home, indoors, on Sunday against the Rams. The week after that, they’ll be on the road, again indoors, at Arizona.
Prepping for the conditions wouldn’t seem to be important for the Detroit Lions, who are 4-7 after losing to Chase Daniels and the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day. Yet, two weeks after catching heat for making his Lions practice in the snow prior to a stretch of two straight indoor home games, Patricia isn’t changing course.
That’s been a trend for Patricia since day one in Detroit. Veteran players were reportedly grumbling in the spring during OTAs and minicamp, when the offseason training sessions were too intense and demanding. Patricia went ahead and maintained the intensity through training camp in August.
After his decision to hold practice in the snow drew heavy criticism, he took to the podium to deliver a lengthy soliloquy about why he did it. (Frankly, requiring athletes to train in less-than-ideal conditions probably shouldn’t draw criticism. But, in fairness, many antennae have been raised regarding the first year head coach since his hiring, so any decision that’s deemed out of the ordinary is sure to draw attention of some kind.) It was probably an over-the-top response to an over-the-top reaction.
And now, with another indoor game on tap, he’s got the crew outdoors. Building character. Making MEN out of BOYS. And all of that other stuff. (The Lions do play outside at Buffalo in Week 15 and outside at Green Bay in Week 17, so it’s not as if he’s completely lost his marbles.)
This time, he should save himself the breath and the time when reporters interrogate him. We already know why he did it. He did because he did it. By now, we should all be aware.