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Former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia reportedly returning to Patriots’ staff

Matt Patricia went 13-29-1 during his tenure as head coach of the Lions.

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

A familiar face will be back in the picture for the New England Patriots in 2021.

Former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is returning to New England to “assist the coaching staff in a variety of roles,” Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reported Friday.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, evaluating personnel will play a key part in Patricia’s new position.

Patricia, 46, had been hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions in February 2018. His tenure in Detroit, along with general manager Bob Quinn’s, ended with his firing in November after posting a 13-29-1 record across parts of three seasons.

A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute product and three-time Super Bowl champion, Patricia got his NFL start as an offensive assistant for the Patriots in 2004. It followed stops at Amherst College, Syracuse University and his alma mater. He would hold the titles of assistant offensive line coach, linebackers coach and safeties coach for New England before serving as defensive coordinator from 2012 through 2017.

Evan Rothstein will join Patricia on New England’s staff, a league source told McBride.

Rothstein spent nine seasons with Detroit, and most recently as a head coach’s assistant while working in research and analysis for the team’s weekly opponents. In late December, Covid-19 protocols led to Rothstein calling the Lions’ defensive plays versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.