Patriots gridiron news: Matt Patricia focused on the Tennessee Titans, not Lions job

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is a leading candidate to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, but remain focused on the playoffs.

Matt Patricia is a favorite to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, but that is next season.  On Monday, the New England Patriots defensive coordinator dodged any questions about the head coaching job and remained focused on the task ahead…helping his current team defeat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional round matchup.

While the Patriots themselves are bracing for his departure, Patricia knows he still has a job to do and something to prove with the defensive unit he currently coaches.

Despite the team’s 13-3 record, the Patriots’ defense has had its difficulties throughout the season.  Patricia’s ability to lead his defense to the top of the league with points allowed makes him a strong candidate for the Detroit job.  Also, given his relationship with Lions general manager Bob Quinn, the potential union is on many people’s minds.

"“I have relationships with guys throughout the entire league and I obviously like to maintain my relationships to the best of their ability,” Patricia said during Monday’s teleconference.  “But really right now my focus is on Tennessee and just trying to get ready for what we have in front of us, that’s kind of my main thing right now.”"

While the Lions can’t finalize a deal with Matt Patricia until after the Patriots’ season is over, it seems to be a good chance that he will get the job.  While he didn’t give any indication as to how the interview went with the Lions, Patricia did label is as a “learning experience.”

In the meantime, he hopes to add another Super Bowl victory to his resume with the team he built his career with and under a coach he hopes to simulate in his success.

Browns would’ve offered a first-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo

While other aspects of the Jimmy Garoppolo deal to the San Francisco 49ers remains under speculation, a Cleveland Browns writer reports that the Patriots could have received more than just a second-round pick for the 26-year-old quarterback.

According to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Patriots could’ve received Houston’s first-round pick (4th overall) from the Browns in exchange for Garoppolo.  That would’ve set up Bill Belichick to do some things in this year’s NFL draft.

He could’ve used the pick to draft one of the top quarterbacks in the draft or even trade the pick for more compensation.

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Overall, the report adds more gravy to the notion that Belichick did not want to trade his former backup quarterback to his former team. Not even for a top 5 draft pick. 

Malcolm Mitchell status

According to Bill Belichick, second-year wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell may have a ways to go if he wants to play on Saturday.

The Georgia Bulldogs alum has been designated to return off the injured reserve, but has not been activated as of yet.  While he didn’t offer much as to the progress of Mitchell, Belichick did touch on his receiver just a little bit during his Tuesday press conference.

"“Seen him out there trying to get back into practice and do the things he’s asked to do, Belichick said."

When asked if Mitchell had some catching up to do, the Patriots head coach said that’s how he would “characterize it.”

Translation:  don’t expect Malcolm Mitchell to play in the Divisional Round playoff game.

Next: New England Patriots defensive matchups with Tennessee receivers

The New England Patriots do have until Saturday by 4 p.m. to activate Mitchell.  If they do, it would be an added surprise.