Matt Patricia

Q. Matt, how difficult is it to kind of take over calling a defense when it’s been installed obviously before the season started and it’s basically somebody else’s defense? (John Clark)

MATT PATRICIA: I think the great part about it was just going back to the Spring when I had the opportunity to come here, and thankfully [Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] extended that opportunity to me. Coach Sirianni has been tremendously amazing for me to be around and this program, and what obviously Mr. Lurie [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] and [Executive Vice President/ General Manager] Howie [Roseman] have built here, for me it’s been such a privilege.

Coming into the building and really being in a role where I was in a lot of different areas at the time, being able to help a little bit with offense with some of my experiences there and special teams, which I love that part of it. Then defensively, being around those great coaches and [Defensive Coordinator] Sean [Desai] who’s phenomenal and putting the installation of defense in, and learning. For me it was a great learning opportunity at that point.

So just kind of being involved in it, with the coaches, I think its always collaborative. We meet and talk and have different ideas and thoughts. Certainly, like I said, it was a great opportunity for me it kind of learn the defense that Sean was building, but really, it’s the Eagles’ defense. It’s the 2023 Eagles. That’s what we’re trying to develop. I think every year in football things change a little bit and schemes change based on people and the personnel you have. Certainly, I think that’s what we’ve been trying to do through the course of the year.

So, it was just good for me. I was kind of already in the mix with those guys just trying to offer help and experience when I could in certain situations that maybe I’ve been around.

So, I think from that aspect of it, it’s a great collaborative effort. I think with everybody. There are great coaches. Coaches that have been here, new coaches that came in. [Defensive Line] Coach [Tracy] Rocker and [Defensive Ends/ Outside Linebackers] Coach [Jeremiah Washburn] Wash and those guys that were here, and [Defensive Backs Coach] D.K. [McDonald] to be able to bridge some of the stuff previous and build this year’s Eagles defense is what it’s about.

That’s kind of where we are. We’ve had a little bit of a change of maybe roles or responsibilities, but it’s still I would say a huge collaborative group. Sean is a tremendous, tremendous football coach. He’s super intelligent with scheme and teaching, and I’ve learned a lot from him from that aspect of it, and tried to offer some insight into different things I’ve seen through the years. So, we’re all still kind of trying to just work together from that aspect of it and make it a group effort.

Q. How do you know when it’s enough to change? Not enough to change? You can’t change everything. (Reuben Frank)

MATT PATRICIA: Yeah, great question. I think defenses and football evolve every week based on who you play and the schemes and the problems that the offense presents.

That’s one of the things that, for me, I always look at. I say this all the time, sometimes it’s more like the NBA than anything else. What are the matchups and who are the people? We have been evolving through the course of this season in different areas and different ways, and trying to maximize what we do each and every single week.

I think you still have to have some of that. I think you do have to evolve and do things that fit the players that you have that particular week, but certainly you want to keep the foundation of what you spend a lot of time on. A lot of times, try to just let the talent shine that we have on the field, which is great. We have great players; we have great coaches.

Really just excited watching them play and learn, to get to know them and be around guys like [DT] Fletcher Cox, who I have the utmost respect for. I remember coming out in the draft, I loved him then. I was like, ‘let me get my hands on this guy.’ And a lot of those guys like that.

So just being around tremendous people like that, that’s what I think as coaches makes us better is being around great players. I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great players and there are great players here. So, I’m trying to learn as much as I can from all of them and then you to figure out what they do well and how can they impact a game and how can you get a match up in a game that helps you win in those situations.

So, you try to find that balance.

Q. You mentioned the collaborative process that is the Eagles defense. How much of your imprint can you put on this scheme this late in the season? (E.J. Smith)

MATT PATRICIA: Again, it’s really our imprint. I don’t think through the course of my years in defense, offense, whatever it is, that I’ve ever really felt like it’s mine. I think it’s the players. I think the beauty of it and the way the NFL works through the years that I’ve been in it, is it changes every year.

I think you have to be able to identify what you do well and then try to emphasize that and then what are areas that I think we can get better at and then try to emphasize those. Sometimes it takes a little while; sometimes you build on it. But I don’t think there is any one great playbook that just comes in and is like, ‘here you go. This is the one that’s going to do it all, all the time,’ because I think everyone would do that.

The art of it is trying to adapt what you think helps your players the best to give them a chance to go play fast and aggressive and give them a chance to win. I think that’s just what we’re trying to do as a collective group is decide, ‘hey, where are we really good or what do we need to add or what are we missing and grow that through the weeks as we go?’

Q. How did Head Coach Nick Sirianni come to you and make the change? (Jeff McLane)

MATT PATRICIA: I’ll probably leave the conversations — Nick can handle those from the conversations he’s had. As a head coach you’re just trying to do everything you can to give yourself the best chance to maximize everybody in the building. I’m certainly very blessed that I’m here. I’m honored that he has allowed me to be in the building.

I’m honored that Sean has been so great and I’ve been able to learn from him. He’s a huge part of everything still now, so there may have been a little bit of a switch in some of the responsibilities, but I feel like it’s still a group effort. We go in the room and talk about different areas of the game and what teams are going to do. We talk about what do our players do well?

So, it’s a huge open dialogue all the time between everybody, so I think it’s just a little bit of a shift in that aspect of it.

Q. How did the interactions work with you and Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai during the game? (Martin Frank)

MATT PATRICIA: Yeah, it was great. And again, just depending on where you are on the field, it’s really cool. Like I wish sometimes we — if you guys ever sat in the box during a game, there is so much information that comes from upstairs, and really on the field, I’ve always looked at those as the eyes in the sky. It’s got to happen live, it’s got to happen in time.

Those suggestions are always free flowing. That is why we’re always on the line together with the headsets and everything. They may see something from up top and say, ‘hey, look, this is happening’ or ‘see this over here.’ You’re trying to communicate to the players on the field at the same time.

So, when I was upstairs, I was trying to do the same thing with Sean downstairs, and he did a great job of really helping me through the game with some of the stuff he was seeing. There are other coaches up there that are doing the same thing, whether it’s the guys that are giving you personnel or seeing different things in the run game, the pass game, and really what you try to do is you take the on-field eyes and cross reference it with the eyes up in the sky, and then obviously now we have the tablets which is great.

We used to have the pages back in the day and you’re trying to figure everything out. And you’re trying to figure out, ‘okay, hey, what happened here or what was good? What are they doing? What’s their game plan?’

So, when you’re in certain situations in the game, some of that is live feed. You’re getting all that information and you’re trying to communicate that to the players on the field to see if you can help them. Sometimes you can get it in time; sometimes you can’t, and you get it corrected when you come to the sideline.

But that communication upstairs/downstairs is critical. I think it’s one of the cooler things that we do that probably you don’t see. I know they’ve got cameras in the box now and all that stuff but just think about the information that’s coming down at halftime. Whether I’m going out at halftime and we’re trying to make adjustments or Sean is coming into the locker room saying, ‘hey, we’ve got this, this, and this is going on’ to the other coaches from that collaborative group.

You’ve only got so much time to do it because you got to get back on the field. That whole race of all is really cool.

Q. Can you talk about the collaboration with Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai specific to the secondary? Because it seems like that’s been part of your focus. What were some of the things that you could do in this role that you couldn’t before, and Sean and what he supplies for this scheme here and what are some of the things you guys already started to change that you couldn’t have done in your previous role here? (Brooks Kubena)

MATT PATRICIA: I never felt like at all in any of the roles — I think everybody is really working with great people. Really great people. So I never felt like there was not a suggestion or thought or conversation that couldn’t happen from that aspect of it.

I think it’s just free flowing back and forth between all the coaches from that standpoint. I fully understand in certain roles, whatever it is, you might have an idea you think is really good and it just may not make it in, and that’s fine. It is what it is. But you go through that process to make sure you’re doing everything you can.

It gets to a point in the week, too, where like, there is like a lot of information we feed these guys and a lot of stuff they have to learn. Early downs, that’ll be today, and then third down tomorrow; red area the next day; two-minute will be on top of that.

Sometimes you get towards the end the of week, and depending on the game plan and the time you have to prepare to install, whether it’s a short week or long week, sometimes you get to the end and say, ‘you know what? I don’t think this is really going to make it in the game plan this week.’

Sometimes you take that information and vet it through and say, ‘okay, this may be something we can get to in the game.’ Sometimes you have good ideas or thoughts that you don’t get to practice but maybe it’s a foundational call that you have, that sometimes it’s actually easier to install during the game because there’s less variables because it’s all kind of declared. You kind of know with the plays are, you know what the tips are from the looks you get from the opponent.

So, you try to keep those ideas fluid from that standpoint, too.

Q. From a self-correction standpoint, what do you want back on that last drive? (Josh Tolentino)

MATT PATRICIA: Yeah, I mean, obviously I would take it all back. That drive starts with me, and I’ve got to do a better job to get them in position to get us off the field and obviously help us win.

I think our guys played really, really hard. I was really proud of the way they went out and give praise to them for what they did. Tried to play aggressive. Tried to play physical up front. Covered really well. Obviously, the two-minute drive wasn’t good enough. That’s me.

I got to get some things in there, calls in there, whatever it may be, to help them a little bit more so they can go out — and obviously give them credit, too. They made a great play, too. They’re a good football team.

But I’ve just got to do a better job.

Q. Why did you like the call on the game-winning touchdown? (Jeff McLane)

MATT PATRICIA: In hindsight, I don’t really like it very much right now. It didn’t work out.

Q. At the time. (Jeff McLane)

MATT PATRICIA: I think during the course of that drive, probably a couple plays in there and calls and coverages, things that were mixed in that you look at and you’re like, ‘okay, this was good.’

Then maybe a play, two before that there was a call that maybe on that last play would’ve been better, but the play before that I saw something that made me nervous about calling it again. Maybe there was another space or another opportunity for them in there to make a big play, so moved away from that call.

Went to another call to try to give help other places. Obviously wish I hadn’t. Wish I had another call in that situation to be able to help in those areas and really in the situation on the field where we were. A lot of it too, trying to gauge the clock and see where were at from the time and how much time was going by. That changes some things as you go and what they can do. It limits as the time goes down and have to start elongating.

They still had some time. They had the right play on for that situation.

Q. How did you handle things from a personal standpoint when it came to Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai? It’s a tough situation. What was your messaging to him? (Tim McManus)

MATT PATRICIA: What I love about football and what I love about coaching and one of the reasons I got into coaching honestly is because of the relationships. That’s what is really important in just my story and where I came from. Left the business world to get into coaching. Played football. Loved football. Loved the relationships I have from football. I loved the coaches that I had.

My parents were teachers and I saw how they impacted kids and young people. So that’s why I left, and I got into coaching. You know, honestly, I think this has been great for me coming here, coming to this organization, Nick, the culture he has here. To be able to get back to that.

I think it’s a very competitive business. It is what it is. The NFL is about production, and we have to produce. We understand that. When you’re in it for a long time, which somehow, I’m now the old guy. I don’t know how that happened, but it happened quick. You get caught up in the rest of it. You’re trying to produce and win. We’re all trying to do that.

To me, it’s the relationships. Whether it’s the relationships with the players or coaches, I hold a lot of value in that. When the game is done and we’re all not with the game anymore, it’s the relationships that will stay.

I think I’ve been really blessed with Sean to have a relationship and build a friendship. We’ve had mutual friends we worked with and have that connection to each other. He’s been great. Really helped me transition here in a situation where my family is not here. I’m kind of here by myself and he’s looked out for me from that aspect of it.

In those situations, the first thing for me whether it’s — whatever it is, you pack all the rest of it away and talk as friends. Most important thing is that everybody is okay. That’s the most important thing.

In the end that’s all that matters. Then at that point, once you make sure and you check in and say, okay, well then, on the other side, how do we go forward and what’s the best plan. You sit down and just try to figure it out.

Q. Yours and CB Darius Slay’s relationship, where do you guys stand, and what did you do to reconcile that? (Zach Berman)

MATT PATRICIA: Man, I just gave him a big hug before I came in here, too. It’s been awesome for me to be back around [CB Darius] Slay and really have an unbelievable relationship. He’s a great guy. He’s super kind, super funny, very determined. He’s everything that he is.

Obviously, just so appreciative of him and our conversation that we had in the spring and just helping me. Honestly, he’s helped me a lot. In the spring, just getting acclimated and just talking through, and honestly, he’s one of the guys I knew coming in the building.

You know how it is when you go to a new place, and you are trying to learn people, you gravitate towards the ones you know. He’s out there with arms open and helped me fit in and feel comfortable. I’m really very grateful to him for that.

As you go through life and you grow and learn and hopefully improve and get better as a person, from me personally, where I was whenever that was, I’m just trying to be a better person every day. I’m just really thankful to him for that.

Then, you roll into the season, and you play football and talking technique. We were out there post-practice one day and he was working on some man-to-man techniques and footwork with the young guys, and I was watching, and we were just kind of talking about techniques, and you get back into the football fundamentals of it, which he’s super great at.

That was fun. You’re back coaching and teaching, and a couple of things we were talking about, which was really cool.

And then getting into the season and he obviously knew maybe the first game of the year, so it was going to be tough for me. He was there and made sure I was okay and that was awesome. That was awesome.

So, I think, look, everybody tries to grow as people and sit down and come together and go forward. That’s what’s been really, really awesome and cool about it. I love that. I don’t think all of us are ever our most perfect selves our entire lives. I don’t think that has ever happened.

So, it’s good for me to be able to come back and build some of those relationships the way that you want them.

Q. Throughout your time in the NFL what have you learned about yourself as a play caller and throughout this year when you weren’t in that role were you taking mental reps to get ready for that? (Dave Zangaro)

MATT PATRICIA: Yeah, good question. Play caller is probably a longer one, trying to decide there. I’ve kind of morphed throughout the years depending on the stage of my career with that stuff. Probably better play caller at times than not. I think sometimes with the play caller part of it you go to different experiences that you’ve had in those situations.

Sometimes in the moment there are different instincts that kick in, like I’m feeling this. A lot of that happens in-game, probably because of something that experience has taught you, usually in a negative way in the previous years.

You try to draw on those as much as I can. All we do to get ready to call the game is do the best we can to put the players in the right situations to be able to go play fast and aggressive. I think when you don’t do that as a coach, that’s where you feel the worst. That’s when you feel really horrible that I didn’t give that person a chance to be successful on that play.

Any of those opportunities that I’ve had where I didn’t do that, I really try to make sure I take good notes and that doesn’t happen again. I don’t want to do that.

This year has been really cool for me. When I got here, being able to be in a lot of different areas. Help on offense which was fun. [Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line] Coach [Jeff] Stoutland and I go way back to Syracuse days. That was great. Being around him and his family again, and helping on special teams and sitting in those meetings. That’s fun.

Defensively it’s been great for me just to listen, listen and watch coaches. I would say probably in more of my more recent years been around and watched a lot of great young coaches come through and tried to help them and do whatever I can to maybe guide or give them any sort of advice that I may have.

That’s been really cool for me. And even with Coach Sirianni and things that he’s dealing with. I’ll let him know, ‘Hey, I’m here if you need me as a sounding board.’ I really enjoy those roles. I enjoy that part of it now in my career. Kind of just, hey, I have a bunch of knowledge. I have a bunch of experience; I have a bunch of wisdom. If you want any of it, it’s here before I’m not doing this anymore.

So, I just want to try to share as much of that as I can. I might as well that’s what everyone helped me with. I think everyone helps you at some point.

Q. Head Coach Nick Sirianni always tells us about his role as a CEO coach with the defense. As an offensive-minded guy he says he has a couple demands but he hires people to do that job. How does that relationship work now that you’re in the position you’re in? (John McMullen)

MATT PATRICIA: Yeah, good one there, too. It’s crazy thinking about this. I’ve worked for two head coaches and been in the league 20 years. This is the first time with an offensive head coach, which is cool for me. I’m learning a lot from him, not only Nick as the head coach, but Nick and how he handles all the different areas and the offense too.

So, he’s the head coach. His vision of the team, it’s our job as coaches to try to go fulfill. Whatever he sees that to be.

He’s very, very smart. Coach Sirianni has been doing this for a long time. He has a great mind for the game. We talk a lot about situational football together and what he sees, and he’ll ask what I see. I think that collaborative conversation is really awesome. You grow a lot from that.

But there are certain things that he as a head coach, if he wants and that’s the way he sees it, that’s what we do. You have a conversation, but in the end he’s the head coach. That’s who we work for. That’s the vision we have to fulfill. It usually comes for all of us in those situations. There’s probably something that transpired that we all have our scars from games that have happened.

He may have been in a situation where he says, ‘hey, I just don’t want that to happen again,’ and we’ll figure out the rest of it. I completely understand that totally.