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New England Patriots DC Matt Patricia expected to be next head coach of Detroit Lions


New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, though linked to the New York Giants‘ job, is likely to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, league sources told ESPN.

Patricia, 43, and the Lions still need to agree to and work out the contract details after the Patriots’ season ends.

Assuming the two sides can do that, Patricia then would become the Lions’ next head coach, reuniting with former Patriots personnel man and current Lions general manager Bob Quinn.

There was no one the Lions interviewed who had more of a pre-established connection with Quinn than Patricia. Detroit publicly announced six interviews for the job: Patricia, Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, Green Bay associate head coach Winston Moss, Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, now-former Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

Since Patricia became the defensive coordinator job in 2012, New England had a 75-21 record. In that span, the Patriots allowed 107.1 rushing yards per game (No. 12) and 246.7 passing yards per game (No. 25). His teams were able to hold opponents out of the end zone, though, allowing 19.2 points per game — second in the NFL to Seattle, which held teams to 16.99 points per game over the same time frame.

New England also is expected to lose offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is a finalist for both the Colts‘ and Giants’ head-coaching jobs, per sources.

Also, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is expected to be a finalist for the Arizona Cardinals‘ head-coaching job, according to a league source, meaning New England is expected to lose at least two assistant coaches and potentially even three.

But the man now destined for one of those jobs is Patricia, one year after he interviewed for the head-coaching jobs with the Rams and Chargers.

Detroit wants Patricia, and many around the league expect the deal to eventually get done.

But as NFL rules state: “No contract shall be executed, and no agreement to execute a contract, or an announcement of a contract, or of an agreement for employment, shall be permitted until after the conclusion of the employer club’s playing season.”

The Patriots (14-3), having defeated the Titans 35-14 on Saturday night, will host the winner of Sunday’s divisional matchup between the Jaguars and Steelers next Sunday in the AFC title game.

Information from Lions reporter Michael Rothstein was used in this report.

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