JUST IN: Matt Patricia "likely" to be named Lions coach per ESPN

JUST IN: Matt Patricia

JUST IN: Matt Patricia "likely" to be named Lions coach per ESPN

But Patricia's hiring in Detroit is still speculation at this point, and will remain so until the Patriots' playoff run is concluded.

It was speculated last week that New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia would likely become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, but conflicting reports surfaced that the New York Giants were still very much in play.

ESPN reported Sunday that "eventually the deal (with the Lions and Patricia) is likely to get done".

The Patriots will be defending their AFC Championship crown in Foxborough next weekend and will face either the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the Colts and Giants pursuing OC Josh McDaniels and LBs coach Brian Flores a finalist for the head job in Arizona, New England's coaching staff could look vastly different in 2018. If they advance to their third Super Bowl in four seasons, the Lions could interview Patricia for a second time during the bye week before the game but the soonest they could hire him as head coach would be February 5.

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A native of Sherrill, N.Y., Patricia was an offensive lineman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He began his coaching career there as well, before making stops at Amherst College and Syracuse.

With Bob Quinn entering his third year as general manager, Caldwell's firing is an opportunity to place his own head coach at the helm of the Lions. Caldwell went 36-28 as the Lions head coach, with an 0-2 playoff record in four seasons.

Patricia, 43, has been the Patriots defensive coordinator for the last six seasons.

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