Matt Patricia: 'We're not building the Patriots here. We're building the Lions'

'I'm not Coach Belichick'

Head coach Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions looks on in the third quarter against the New York Jets at Ford Field on September 10, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

DETROIT - The Matt Patricia era of the Detroit Lions is off to a rough start. But the first-time head coach is trying to stay focused.

Patricia opened up about the job in an interview with ESPN's Mike Reiss. The Lions have started the season 0-2, with a brutal opening week loss at home against the Jets.

Many fans are wondering what's happened the Lions, a team that had a winning record just a year ago.

Patricia told ESPN that he isn't Bill Belichick.

“One of the biggest things for me when I got to New England, and it was different from what I had experienced before, was the way he coached the team. I don’t know any head coaches who can do that like he can, with as much detail. It’s just incredible. What I’ve learned -- and probably the coaches that have come out of there learned – we can’t do that. That’s something Coach Belichick can do. Only him.

“But the important thing that can be taken from that is a reminder of making sure the entire team is coached, and so how do you do that with such focus and intensity and a message coming from such a high level?

Patricia talked in-depth about his journey through the coaching ranks and what Belichick taught him in New England.

“The amount of time and attention that Coach Belichick gave me -- football, personal -- I can’t even repay him. I can’t thank him enough for that."

“Working with Coach Belichick, I learned how critical that position is to help him prepare, and to get the information to the coordinators and the rest of the coaches."

Patricia also emphasized one major point: he's not trying to replicate the Patriots in Detroit.

“I have great respect for Coach Belichick as both a mentor and friend, but the main thing that is important for me to stress is that we’re not building the Patriots here. We’re building the Lions.

“I’m trying to do it the way I know, and the way I believe the game should be played. A lot of it is influenced by my time in New England, but in the end, it has to be the style that fits me and this team.

“I’m not Coach Belichick. There’s only one. He’s unbelievable. I just have to try to be the best head coach I can be that helps our team, and that’s the biggest thing."

Check out the full ESPN interview here.

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