When the New York Giants were searching for a head coach this past offseason, then-New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was at the top of the list of candidates. Patricia, after interviewing with the Giants ended up as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
With the Lions and Giants holding joint practices this week, Patricia was of course asked about the Giants. He was having none of the “what might have been?” type of chatter, though.
“I’m just trying to make sure today’s practice is outstanding,” Patricia said during an early-morning press conference before the teams took to the practice field. “[My mind] totally will be on today’s practice.”
Patricia, born in Sherrill, NY, did share one Giants-related story from his childhood involving long-time Giants coach Steve Owen.
“I’ll give you one little nugget here. You can write this one down,” Patricia said. “Our family friends, lady by the name of Mimi Owen, her husband, Steve, was actually a long-time Giants, player, coach, really unbelievable man. When I was a little kid we actually used to get quite a bit of stuff from the Giants. That was a big fascination for me. That was the closest tie I could have to an NFL franchise at that time.”
Respect for Shurmur
Pat Shurmur, of course, got the Giants job. Patricia said he and Shurmur have a “great relationship” going back to years ago coaching against each other that made it “just so easy” to put the joint practices together.
“He and I have had a great relationship for a while. He and I worked against each other a while ago and always have really stayed in contact since that,” Patricia said. “It [the joint practices] really came together quick. He was unbelievable as far as trying to handle all the logistics of coming out here and trying to practice against us.”