How College Coaches Helped Matt Patricia Prepare for Virtual Offseason
Matt Patricia, like many Americans, has had to adjust to a new way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
His work as Lions head man has been readily altered, with the NFL having transitioned to a virtual offseason for the first time in league history.
It started with how he conducted his preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Out were pro days and private workouts to a large degree, and in were in-depth conversations with college head coaches that already had been forced to pivot from inside-the-classroom and on-field instruction to teaching via Zoom and other video conferencing platforms because of the coronavirus.
As Albert Breer details in his latest piece for Sports Illustrated's The MMQB,
"He (Patricia) spoke with Ohio State coach Ryan Day a bunch, as he vetted three guys he wound up drafting—corner Jeff Okudah, guard Jonah Jackson and defensive tackle Jashon Cornell—and Day explained to him that he’d already been able to pull off full clinics using streaming video in front of larger groups, rather than just breaking things up into smaller gatherings."
Patricia also picked up a vital lesson from Georgia head coach Kirby Smart regarding his Wi-Fi, as he drew some intel from Smart on Detroit's second-round pick, running back D'Andre Swift.
"Bulldog coach Kirby Smart took him through how differing Wi-Fi connections, from one person’s setup to another’s, could throw off the video presentation, which became a focus for Patricia as he and his staff got ready for what was coming," Breer said.
All of the preparation made Patricia and his staff ready for any possible technological snafus that could've occurred during the virtual draft.
The Lions' draft seemingly went seamless, though, as nine players were selected by the franchise.
Potentially, it was a good omen for what will be an ultra important 2020 campaign for Patricia & Co. in Motown.
To read more of Breer's story on Patricia's virtual offseason preparation, click here.