While not every Bill Belichick lieutenant has left New England and found success as a head coach, Matt Patricia has taken over an already decent Lions team and brought a few classic Patriots traits.
But he also walked in the door with an attention to detail (perhaps you heard he has an engineering background), and made one quick change.
According to Peter King of NBC in Football Morning in America, one of the first things Patricia noticed about the team’s indoor facility was that the practice fields lacked fixed goalposts. They’d just roll out temporary ones for practice and roll them back out of the way afterward.
But Patricia told General Manager Bob Quinn that his quarterbacks and receivers needed them as landmarks, a visual cue of where they were on certain routes. Makes sense, as every field they play on this year will have large yellow poles sticking up from the ground behind the end zones.
So now they have four sets, with two narrow ones (to make kicking more of a challenge) and two standard ones at either end of their two practice fields.
Of course, there are no pithy quotes in the anecdote about what a great idea this was, because Patricia seems to have also installed some of the omerta that the Patriots have prided themselves on. It will work better when they’re successful, but at least no one can accuse of moving the goalposts on the Lions, since they’re in the ground now.