Matt Patricia gets Tom Brady’s blessing as Giants’ coaching search is put on hold - http://allcharts.co.za |January 14, 2018 6:30 am
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FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady had one question as he walked towards the exit of Gillette Stadium late Saturday night after the Patriots easy victory over the Titans sent them to their seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game.
“So, who are the Giants going to hire?” he asked the Daily News.
I told Brady that I thought the Giants first choice was Matt Patricia, the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, and that Josh McDaniels, his offensive coordinator, was very much in the mix as well. Any hiring is on hold now with the Patriots’ season continuing on at least one more week and probably three more weeks.
“I think Matt is a great leader. He’s got a great personality and he works his tail off,” he said. “He’s got a tremendous amount of respect from all the players. Just a great coach. I love Matt.”
Brady, who set the record with his 10th career three-TD playoff performance in the 35-14 victory, goes against Patricia’s defense in practice all summer in training camp. He goes against it in practice all season. Brady competes in practice like he competes in games, so he likes to be challenged.
He said Patricia’s leadership and football knowledge will translate well as he transitions to be a head coach.
“I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t like Josh,” Brady said. “I love Josh. Josh is spectacular. He’s one of the best. He’s just an incredible coach, an incredible friend. We’ve been together for a long time. But great coaches get great opportunities and I’m very happy for both of them.”
Now that the Patriots are advancing to the conference title game, the Giants will not be permitted to conduct follow-up interviews with Patricia or McDaniels until the week of Jan. 22. If the Patriots get to their eighth Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick era, league rules prohibit job offers until after the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, but teams always find back channels to make offers and finalize the process in advance.
The Giants are competing with the Lions for Patricia and with the Colts for McDaniels. Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, the third finalist, could become immediately available if Minnesota loses to the Saints on Sunday afternoon. If the Vikings win, then the Giants can’t speak with Shurmur again until the week of Jan. 22. The Cardinals are very interested in Shurmur. If the Giants sit tight and follow the rules, they could get burned.
The buzz around Gillette Stadium on Saturday night was that Patricia was the Giants’ choice and he wanted the Giants. The Patriots do not make their assistant coaches available to the media after games.
Matt vs. Josh was a lot more competitive than the Patriots vs. Titans. I mentioned to Brady that I thought Patricia and McDaniels were auditioning for the Giants on Saturday night.
Matt Patricia’s defense gave up the fourth most yardage in the NFL this season but the fifth fewest points.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
“They both did a great job then,” he said.
Patricia’s defense gave up the fourth-most yards in the NFL this season and the fifth fewest points. After allowing an 11-play, 95-yard drive late in the first quarter that culminated in rookie Corey Davis’s spectacular one-handed 15-yard TD grab over Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, it was interesting to see how Patricia reacted.
He got down on both knees in front of the Patriots bench where his defensive backs were sitting. He had a tablet in his hand. Of course, his hat was turned backwards and he had a pencil behind his ear and he was wearing a bright red pullover.
Were they watching tape?
“Just the pictures,” safety Devin McCourty said. “That is routine for us.”
Whatever Patricia told his defense, it worked. Tennessee didn’t score again until Davis beat Butler again for an 11-yard score with 1:55 remaining and the Patriots up by four touchdowns.
“He will be pissed about that drive to make it 35-14,” McCourty said. “That’s who he is. He’s a great coach and is very passionate. He demands a lot of us. It makes us raise our level of play each week.”
Is he a leader, a CEO, as Dave Gettleman has mandated of the coach the Giants pick?
“He’s a passionate guy. He’s going to be on you,” McCourty said. “That’s just his demeanor. That’s not going to change for anybody.”
Not even OBJ.
Jos McDaniels and Tom Brady kept the Titans defense off balance.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Do players take the yelling personally or do they take it as constructive criticism?
“Each guy is different,” McCourty said. “Nobody likes being yelled at. I don’t care who you are. He knows how to drive guys and push guys. I’m a believer in him. That’s the only thing I can tell you.”
McDaniels is one of the real creative offensive minds in the NFL and it was on display against the Titans. He kept the Tennessee defense off balance with a fast paced offense. Brady threw 53 passes and completed 35 for 337 yards with three TDs and no INTs.
He put some great things on tape for the Giants to look at in the next week.
“We score a lot of points,” McCourty said. “So, I’m all for it. He always does a good job.”
If the Patriots were distracted by the recent stories of infighting, it certainly did not carry over onto the field. They will play the winner of Sunday’s Jaguars-Steelers game in the AFC title game next week at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots tied the 49ers and Cowboys last season with five Super Bowl victories, one behind the Steelers, who own the record. One big difference: Belichick and Brady have been the coach and quarterback each time while the success of the other three teams were accomplished by different generations.
The 49ers did it with two coaches (Bill Walsh, George Seifert) and two quarterbacks (Joe Montana, Steve Young). The Cowboys did it with three coaches (Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer) and two quarterbacks (Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman). The Steelers six titles came with three coaches (Chuck Noll, Mike Tomlin) and two quarterbacks (Terry Bradshaw, Ben Roethlisberger).
Now the patience and integrity of the Giants brain trust will be tested as the Patriots gave every indication they are going back to the Super Bowl. Should they follow the tampering rules and not make an offer when they can’t be sure if the competition will be so honorable?
If they want Patricia — or McDaniels — then they need to let them know as soon as possible. They have Brady’s endorsement, which is an important precinct to pick up.