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3 Changes Matt Patricia Must Make

Here are three changes Matt Patricia must make as Detroit head man heading into 2020

The Lions are reeling -- losers of five in a row and eight of their last nine -- and Matt Patricia is now a combined 9-18-1 in two years as Detroit head man. 

If I was team owner Martha Ford, Patricia would be out of a job at season's end. However, the last time I checked my birth certificate, my name is Vito Chirco. 

And if we know anything about the Fords, they are loyal to a fault when it comes to their employees.

Just look at former team president and CEO Matt Millen who got seven full seasons -- 2001-07 -- and three games in 2008 for doing absolutely nothing.  

Translation: Patricia will likely get a third year that he doesn't deserve. 

Because of that, the best we can do as Lions fans and pundits alike is look at three changes that Patricia must make going into 2020.

Without further ado, here are the three changes I believe the second-year head man must make:    

Fire Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni 

I know Patricia and Pasqualoni are cronies dating back to their days at Syracuse when Pasqualoni was the head coach (1991-2004) and Patricia was an offensive graduate assistant (2001-03). 

However, it's clearly not working with Pasqualoni as defensive coordinator.

In fact, it's been an utter disaster. 

Through 12 games, the Lions rank 29th in total yards allowed per game (398.1), including 30th in passing yards allowed (280.1) and 24th in rushing yards (118.0 ). 

The "bend but don't break" model to playing defense isn't working in the Motor City. And if Patricia isn't going to lose his job over it, Pasqualoni, at the very least, should.

Allow the Players To Be Themselves

Speaking of things that aren't working for Patricia & Co., trying to make players inside the Lions locker room act like they're walking through a locker room that has won six Super Bowls -- i.e. the New England Patriots' locker room -- clearly isn't. 

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Trying to control voices inside the locker room and trying to get players to act in a way not natural to them has not led to either happier employees or more victories on the football field in Patricia's two years as Lions head man. 

Instead, the exact opposite has happened. 

Players have become disgruntled, such as former Detroit starting safety and team captain Quandre Diggs, and the franchise has become a huge disappointment performance-wise on a weekly basis.

The Lions went from 9-7 in Jim Caldwell's final year roaming the sidelines in 2017 to 6-10 a year ago and a measly 3-8-1 so far this season. At this point, the Lions will be lucky to record a second straight six-win campaign.

Patricia should be out of a job at season's end. But if he's not going to be, the so-called "Patriot Way" needs to be scrapped completely, and the players need to be allowed to be themselves inside the locker room.


Modify the Scheme To Fit the Talent on Roster   

As a result of Patricia's defense performing worse this season than in his first year as coach, there must be significant changes made to the scheme.

Not enough pressure from the defensive line, allowing quarterbacks to survey the field with little to no worry of being attacked and the inability to hold leads whatsoever indicate a scheme that isn't putting the team in the best position to win.

Cornerback Darius Slay has hinted that the puzzle pieces are in place, but haven't been put together correctly.

In 2019, the Lions have been competitive in almost all of the games they have played. 

Losses have piled up due to poor fundamentals, poor attention to detail and poor execution. 

It is imperative that Patricia take a serious look at his scheme and tailor it to the roster he has. 

Otherwise, he will be standing at the podium next season fielding questions yet again about his defense.