So many questions ...
Wasn't Patricia's coworker, Josh McDaniels, supposedly the guy there?
And wasn't Patricia locked in for the Detroit Lions' job?
Does that now mean McDaniels lands with the Indianapolis Colts and Mike Vrabel goes to the Lions?
Let's work backwards to move the ball forward here. When Hub Arkush, Arthur Arkush and I each ranked our head-coaching destinations this offseason from a desirability standpoint, we all had the Lions' gig as a more attractive landing than the Giants. In fact, we all had the Lions ranked No. 1.
Even with that said, I like one of the points Hub made in his rankings, that the Giants are a "heritage franchise that has been extremely loyal to coaches and GMs," and you just can't overlook that fact. Owners John Mara and Steve Tisch frankly were embarrassed by the past two-plus years. The Tom Coughlin exit was ugly, but the Ben McAdoo experience was just brutal this season.
For a franchise that has been so steady and patient over the long haul, you can bet it wants to return to that stability and win back fans. Whatever head coach lands there, assuming he's semi-competent, is likely to get a long leash. Patricia might be weighing that factor heavily.
So if the Giants can't get Patricia's boss, Bill Belichick, or his college-dominating clone, Nick Saban, it would make sense for them to make a hard run at Patricia. Ask anyone in the Patriots organization which of the two, McDaniels or Patricia, is closest to Belichick and the answer is always going to be Patricia.
In fact, many felt that Belichick might have favored Patricia as his potential successor in New England, although the fact that he's perhaps encouraging his defensive coordinator to go to a team he so reveres is perhaps a sign that Belichick has at least two or three years left in coaching. Belichick always has taken an active role in helping his coaches land other gigs — the one exception being Eric Mangini, who was a one-year coordinator when the New York Jets offered him the head-coaching job.
It also makes sense that the Giants hire someone with a defensive background after their past five head coaches — Ray Handley, Dan Reeves, Jim Fassel, Coughlin and McAdoo — all were steeped on the other side of the ball. Don't forget what franchise we're talking about here. Bill Parcells made the Giants a defense-first organization, with huge help from Belichick, and many fans secretly pine for this type of identity again.
As for why else Patricia might spurn the Lions and GM Bob Quinn, a former Patriots scout, that's left to speculation. Maybe Patricia and GM Dave Gettleman are cut from the same cloth — both employ no-nonsense styles and have old-school blood coursing through their veins. Perhaps Gettleman promised a team constructed in the style of the Carolina Panthers, built from the inside out, as a way of reviving the Giants' defensive identity.
Plus, don't forget: Geography matters. Patricia is New York born and bred. He grew up in upstate New York and played ball at RPI. I've never heard the 43-year-old Patricia say he was a Giants fan growing up, but it wouldn't surprise me. He would have been 9 years old when Parcells took over, 12 when they won their first Super Bowl and 15 when they won their second. That can't go overlooked.
The Lions are still a good job. The Colts are, too — Andrew Luck's health being the big variable there. And if Vrabel ends up in Detroit and McDaniels in Indy, I'd give a thumbs up on those hires, too. To think that all three of these guys, including Patricia, were in New England together for a five-year stretch is pretty remarkable. We even could see a Patricia vs. McDaniels game next season, as the Colts host the Giants. (The Colts also head to Foxboro next year.)
One other thought ... would this mean the Minnesota Vikings' Pat Shurmur is out of a job? Could he still land with the Arizona Cardinals? That's a scenario that might not play out soon, as the Cardinals have a lot of questions and might end up having to pick closer to last among the vacancies to get their man.