No one in the NFL knows Lions head coach Matt Patricia better than Bill Belichick.
Patricia spent 14 seasons in New England — serving as the team’s defensive coordinator from 2012-17. And now, in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Patricia, Belichick has gone to bat for him in a statement released by the team.
“The New England Patriots were not aware of the matter which recently came to light,” Belichick said, via NFL.com. “For 14 years in our organization, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man. We have always been confident in Matt’s character and recommended him highly to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions.”
Belichick was responding to an incident in Texas back in 1996, when Patricia and another fraternity member were alleged to have groped a woman on spring break.
It’s interesting that neither the Patriots nor Lions were made aware of this incident, since NFL teams do so much homework on their personnel, with background investigations and such. But neither claim to have known about it.