According to NFL Network’s insider Ian Rapoport, Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton spent today interviewing New England Patriots assistant Matt Patricia for their defensive coordinator position.
9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis indicated that this interview was an in-person visit and follows Vance Joseph and Rex Ryan as in-person interviews.
The #Broncos spent today with an intriguing candidate for their vacant defense coordinator job: Matt Patricia. Sources tell me and @TomPelissero the former #Patriots assistant is in Denver speaking with Sean Payton today. Rex Ryan and Vance Joseph are also top candidates.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2023
Patricia is a veteran coach who spent the majority of his career under Bill Belichick in New England as a defensive coach. He was a successful defensive coordinator for them from 2012 to 2017 and that earned him the Detroit Lions head coaching job. However, since then, Patricia’s career has gone downhill.
His stint as the Lions' head coach was unsuccessful and he was ultimately fired from the job during the 2020 season. Since then, he re-joined the Patriots staff as a senior advisor in 2021, a senior advisor and offensive line coach in 2022, and is currently listed as a senior football advisor on the Patriots coaching staff.
So, the Broncos are interviewing a coach who was an offensive line coach last season for their defensive coordinator position.
Patricia joins former Buffalo Bills and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and former Denver Broncos head coach and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as the coaches to interview in person for the defensive coordinator job. It is clear that Payton is valuing experience when searching for his defensive coordinator. All three coaches are former head coaches with extensive careers as coordinators as well.
However, all three of these candidates come with some flaws and will likely be viewed as underwhelming hires. Rex Ryan has been out of the league since 2016, Vance Joseph has been an average-at-best defensive coordinator during his career, and Matt Patricia coached on the offensive side of the ball last year. It is hard to get excited about any of these three candidates, but I do appreciate Payton doing his due diligence here. I am just not fond of the candidates he is choosing to bring in.
It seems like the Broncos are close to picking a defensive coordinator, but who remains the question? Reports last week indicated that Rex Ryan was the favorite for the job, but then the Broncos interviewed Joseph and now Patricia for the job. So, it is unclear if he is still viewed as the favorite. Joseph also interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator job and is in-play there as well. So, we should have some answers here sooner rather than later.