Technically the Detroit Lions are still without a head coach, as the franchise has to wait another week to formally hire Matt Patricia. However, Patricia has already been busy making cuts to the coaching staff. There are many vacancies that need to be filled on the defensive coaching staff, including the role of defensive coordinator.
We’ve heard very little about who Patricia is thinking about bringing on as his defensive coordinator. With that said, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted last week that Boston College defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni has emerged as a candidate for the defensive coordinator position.
Rapoport later followed up with a comment, saying Pasqualoni had yet to interview, but was expected to speak with Patricia about a senior position on the staff, leaving us unsure if it was for the defensive coordinator opening or not.
More on Paul Pasqualoni: His name was buzzing in Mobile, based on his past relationship with Matt Patricia. They haven’t spoken yet, but are expected to — about a senior position on the staff — when the #Lions officially hire Patricia.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 25, 2018
Bringing on Pasqualoni would make sense because he and Patricia have worked together in the past and by all accounts have a good relationship. Patricia worked as an offensive assistant for Pasqualoni at Syracuse from 2001 through 2003.
Pasqualoni was a long-tenured coach for Syracuse, as he was the head man there from 1991 until 2004. Prior to that post, he was the linebackers coach for the then-known Orangemen.
He was also the head coach for Western Connecticut State from 1982-1986 and for the Connecticut Huskies from 2011-2013. Pasqualoni amassed a career record of 151-94-1 as a head coach.
He also has plenty of NFL experience, including a couple stints as a defensive coordinator. Stops in the pros include the Dallas Cowboys (tight ends in 2005, linebackers in 2006-2007, defensive coordinator/defensive line in 2010), Miami Dolphins (defensive coordinator from 2008-2009), Chicago Bears (defensive line in 2014) and the Houston Texans (defensive line in 2015).
Most recently, Pasqualoni has served as the defensive line coach at Boston College, working under Steve Addazio. Addazio was another one of Pasqualoni’s former assistants, as the two worked together at Syracuse from 1995 to 1998.
While there hasn’t been a whole lot of new information on this situation in the past few days, it is definitely an interesting development to follow. There haven’t been many other names linked to the defensive coordinator position, if any at all. But if Pasqualoni does sign on into some other “senior position” then the speculation at defensive coordinator continues.
It’s also possible that Patricia will call the defensive plays and run the show for the Lions on that side of the ball, while the coordinator acts as more of an assistant. That also remains to be seen.
Patricia will lead the New England Patriots defense against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. He will be officially introduced as Detroit’s 27th head coach shortly afterward.