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Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Search: Is Matt Patricia the Bruce Arians of defense?

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Brash, brilliant and loves his swear words, could Patricia be the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

NFL: New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the discussions that will have to be had by the Arizona Cardinals brass is what angle they want to attack when it comes to choosing their next head coach.

We’ve looked at Pat Shurmur, a young, intelligent and innovative offensive coordinator with head coaching experience, even if the results we bad the first time.

We also looked at Mike Munchak, the wily, loyal offensive line coach who has coached with two teams and been a mediocre head coach before in three seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Now, it’s time to turn the focus to the defensive side of the ball.

The first name we’ll look at today is Matt Patricia, the highly sought after defensive coordinator from the New England Patriots.

Patricia was brought up in the New England Patriots culture and system.

After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was a four-year letter winner, Patricia joined the Engineers as a graduate assistant.

Instead of pursuing his education further or starting his engineering career, he decided to continue coaching and went to Amherst College as a defensive line coach, before heading to Syracuse as a grad assistant again. In 2004, in the beginning of the Patriot dynasty, Patricia was hired as an offensive assistant at the age of 30. Since 2004 he has worked as an offensive assistant, assistant offensive line coach (2005), linebackers coach (06-10) and then safeties coach in (2011) before being elevated to defensive coordinator for the Patriots in 2012.

He has worked his way through the system and become one of the pillars of that Patriot dynasty.

The question is, what do you value in your defense?

Patricia’s defense have two seasons as top ten defenses in yards given up, 2015-2016, but he has three seasons in the 20’s and one in the ten’s.

Yet, more importantly, at least to me, his defenses have landed in the top ten every year as points allowed, including first in 2016 and fifth this season.

The question with all Patriots assistants is always, can they thrive outside of Foxboro?

I asked Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit and here is what he had to say:

Matt Patricia is best known for his ability to maximize the skill sets of every player on his defense, something that will serve him well as a head coach. He is flexible in scheme to complement the players on the roster and the players love him for that. He’s a smart strategist and definitely deserves the chance to lead a team.

Then today, Devin McCourty had this to say:

Q: Is there an example that comes to mind in regards to Matt Patricia’s passion and intensity?

DM: There’s a lot of examples. They usually have a lot of curse words and yelling at us. But, I just think that the thing to me about Matty P. is his consistency with his energy and passion. Matty P. never really kind of rolls with whatever’s going on, whether it’s like over the last however many weeks when we’ve been playing good and all that. Like we can come in from a game and Matty P. comes in there Monday and he’s pissed about the Atlanta game when they scored on the two minute drive – I think it was that game – towards the end of the game where, at one point in the game, they scored in two-minute drive. And, like everyone was so happy. We gave up just seven points that game, right? Yeah, and everyone was so happy – ‘Yeah, we played Atlanta well and gave up seven points.’ And Matty P. was pissed, and that’s what we watched the next day. We came in here and we watched that drive on how we didn’t have to give up those points. To me, that’s him. You’re not going to get him to lower his standards. He expects the best out of the first group we put on the field, the last group, in training camp, in the spring. You know, we got cursed out in the spring for giving up touchdowns in seven-on-seven red area where the ball started at the 7-yard line. Matty P. came in there and he ripped us. So, I think, obviously as players, sometimes you get mad at that, but if you’re wise enough to realize that that’s what helps you become a better individual player and collectively a better defense.

This is Matt Patricia, the question is, is that the right man for the Arizona Cardinals job?


Is Matt Patricia the right man for the Arizona Cardinals job?

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