And he also might be the least experienced.
Among Super Bowl winners like Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton, Patricia has coached in the NFL as a defensive coordinator since 2012. Before that, he was actually an offensive assistant for the Patriots. Before that, he was an offensive assistant for Syracuse. Before that he played for Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, the same school that gave us kicker Andrew Franks.
So, why should the Miami Dolphins hire a guy with such little experience? For a lot of fans and analysts alike, they shouln't hire him for exactly that reason. However, for me, Patricia is at the top of the list for me in terms of hot coordinators.
And that is because he has proven he can get the most out of his players, regardless of what his position is.
Take the New England Patriots' defense for instance. Every year since Patricia took over as defensive coordinator, the Patriots have finished Top 10 in the NFL in points against. Yes, they have been gashed on the ground, but overall the statistic that sticks out to me is their ability to create turnovers and prevent the opposing team's offense from scoring a large amount of points. This is something Patricia stresses and excels in.
He has also turned under-the-radar guys into Pro Bowlers. Take for instance Jamie Collins and Malcolm Butler. These two players have become franchise guys on the defensive side of the ball for the Pats, and their development has come from Patricia's work with them. He understands which players excel in which scheme, and he puts his players in the best position to win.
Patricia also has the fundamentals down pat. The Patriots always tackle well, play with high energy, and rarely give up big plays. They are fundamentally sound. Something that has not been said about a Miami Dolphins defense since the days of Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor.
Ultimately, it will come down to whether or not Mike Tannenbaum thinks Patricia has enough experience to coach an entire team. What he does have is years of working under the greatest coach in NFL history, Bill Belichick. Not a bad mentor to spend your first 4 years as a coordinator learning under. Patricia also has history coaching the offensive side of the ball, as he was an offensive assistant and offensive line coach with the Patriots in 2004 and 2005. He's also been a part of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Pats.
Not bad for a guy without any experience as a head coach.
Is he a for sure thing? Definitely not. But neither was Belichick when he got his start with the Cleveland Browns more than 20 years ago.
Patricia is definitely worth the interview the Dolphins have requested.