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Spadaro: Matt Patricia takes the team approach to new defensive responsibilities 

Matt Patricia
Matt Patricia

This is not about Matt Patricia. Instead, he said on Thursday meeting the media for the first time after calling the defensive signals in Monday's game at Seattle, a job he will have moving forward this season, Patricia insisted everything about his job and the Eagles' defensive performance is a collaborative effort.

"There are great coaches. Coaches that have been here, new coaches that came in," he said. "(Defensive line) Coach (Tracy) Rocker and (Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers) Coach Wash (Jeremiah Washburn) 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 (defensive coordinator, Desai) 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."

How much will the defense change under Patricia? That remains to be seen, naturally. He said it's a matchups-driven league, so the Eagles' defense – not his, remember – will evolve week to week. He wants to find weaknesses in every offense and go after them.

Starting Monday against the Giants.

"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," Patricia said. "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?'"

For Patricia, who joined the Eagles in the spring and who has had the benefit of working with all three phases of the team since then, being in Philadelphia has been a new, refreshing and energizing experience in his coaching career.

"This year has been really cool for me," said Patricia, who was in the coaches booth until moving to the sideline on Monday night. "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 (Nick) 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."

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