It’s been several weeks now since head coach Nick Sirianni made the decision to give the defense from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia, and it has yet to yield positive results. Patricia has spoken to reporters twice in his new role, and both times has played down how different things are under his leadership, saying the defense was a collaborative effort all year, so it’s not something entirely new.
While that might be technically true, Haason Reddick spoke on Thursday about how it’s a more difficult adjustment than perhaps was portrayed. When asked how much of what happened on Sunday against the Cardinals was due to the coordinator change, the edge defender was honest about the challenges.
“I think a lot of it. Like you said, we changed coordinators. They got a different style, a different way they want things done, and that’s pretty much what it is. [Matt] Patricia’s in there now — he has a certain way that he would like for things to be done, and we’re doing our best to adapt to that in this time period that we have, trying to get everybody on the same page moving forward, that way we can be great in the playoffs.”
As for some of the film that showed guys running around pre-snap and not being in position, Reddick said that’s a combination of a lot of things — the timing of the call coming in, changing personnel, and people hurrying up and trying to get where they need to be. He also acknowledged that the DC change could also be a factor, as they’re trying to implement new things and get to the things Patricia wants done.
“It’s hard. It’s a hard thing to do. But, it’s our job at the end of the day, so it’s no complaints about it.
But, it’s definitely a hard thing, right. You spent so much time with one DC, and a new DC at that, at the beginning of the year, and trying to learn everything he wants us to do, his terminology, the way that he calls things, and then towards the end of the season, we switch. But, like I said, at the end of the day, it must get done. That’s what the higher ups here felt was needed to get done in order to try and make a change and get some things corrected. As players, we gotta go out there and do our best to perform.”
Reddick said he’s seen a lot of head coach and defensive coordinator changes throughout his career, noting he’s only ever had the same DC two years in a row, but he’s never dealt with a change mid-season. For someone like him, with a lot of experience, it’s easier to adapt compared to some of the younger guys.
Reddick was also asked about how often he was asked to drop back in coverage last week against Arizona, and he mentioned that he was willing to do whatever was asked of him. But later, when prompted to explain how best to maximize his specific skillset, Reddick (with a smile on his face) said that was a conversation for another time.