Matt Patricia wasn't out of work for long.
The fired Lions coach is returning to New England in a new role that will combine scouting and working with the Patriots' coaching staff, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday.
Patricia heads back to Massachusetts following a disappointing stint in Detroit, where the coach finished with a 13-29-1 record in three seasons. He was fired by the Lions following the team's blowout loss at home on Thanksgiving, bringing an end to a once-hopeful tenure.
Patricia served as Bill Belichick's defensive coordinator from 2012-2017, earning his second and third Super Bowl victories in that span. He won his first as an offensive assistant in his first year with the Patriots in 2004.
After three years away from New England, Patricia is returning to where he spent his NFL coaching career prior to accepting the Lions job. His new job is intriguing considering he hasn't held any formal front office job in his time in the pro game, but could end up being valuable experience on a staff in which Belichick's personnel desires end up guiding the organization's direction.
We won't go as far as saying it's a position in which Belichick could groom Patricia to one day take his seat, but it sure wouldn't hurt. And above all, Patricia is back where he found the success that led him to a head-coaching opportunity in Detroit.