ATLANTA — The 2018 Detroit Lions season certainly didn’t go as new head coach Matt Patricia probably hoped.

The Lions, who went 9-7 under Jim Caldwell in 2017, finished this season with a 6-10 record. Patricia isn’t the first head coach under Bill Belichick’s coaching tree to struggle. Josh McDaniels didn’t even last two seasons as the Denver Broncos’ head coach before returning to the Patriots. Romeo Crennel went 28-55 as a head coach with the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. Eric Mangini was 33-47 with the Browns and New York Jets.

Bill O’Brien has been Belichick’s most successful disciple. He’s 42-38 and has made the postseason three times in five seasons with the Houston Texans.

Belichick held a news conference Tuesday as his team gets set to take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday. He was asked the following question by veteran Detroit News reporter Jerry Green, who has covered all 53 Super Bowls:

“Would you address the struggles of so many of your proteges as head coaches, specifically Matt Patricia as I am from Detroit?”

“Yeah, no, I’m here to talk about the Patriots and the Rams. And that’s what our job is this week is to get ready for the Rams. I think Matt’s a great coach, and he does a great job. He did a great job for me. He’s very smart and understands football. He’s an excellent teacher, but really I’m here to talk about the Rams.”

Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images