Patricia dodges questions on decision to pick Lions over Giants

ST. PAUL, MINN. - Matt Patricia learned well from Bill Belichick how to avoid answering questions.

The difference: He does it with a sense of humor and a smile on his face.

Patricia, the Patriots defensive coordinator, was the Giants' top choice to be their head coach but he elected to take the Lions job. The Giants announced Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their head coach last Friday.

When Patricia was asked by the Daily News on Monday night at the Super Bowl Opening Night what happened with the Giants after he interviewed on Jan. 5, he said, "For me, it was a great process to go through the process that the NFL allows us to do. But it was a couple of weeks ago. Right now, what's awesome about that is I've just been able to dial in and focus on Philly."

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Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) wears a sombrero as he addresses the media during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) puts on a hat during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi is interviewed by Rick Strom of TVT Sports during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson is interviewed during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount (29) takes a selfie during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld is interviewed by a NBC Sports Philadelphia reporter during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN, USA; New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia (right) is interviewed by Deion Sanders (left) during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to reporter during Super Bowl Opening Night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. January 29, 2018 REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The New England Patriots take the stage as they arrive for Super Bowl Opening Night, a chance to speak to the media, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. January 29, 2018 REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29: Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks to the media during Super Bowl Media Day at Xcel Energy Center on January 29, 2018 in St Paul, Minnesota. Super Bowl LII will be played between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) answers questions during Super Bowl LII Opening Night on January 29, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 29: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) answers questions during Super Bowl LII Opening Night on January 29, 2018. at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29: NFL Hall of Fame Defensive Tackle John Randle answers questions during Super Bowl LII Opening Night on January 29, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 29: New England Patriots running back James White (28) answers questions during Super Bowl LII Opening Night on January 29, 2018, at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 29: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) waves to the crowd as he enters the stage to Super Bowl LII Opening Night on January 29, 2018, at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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When it was mentioned that he was considered to be the Giants No. 1 choice, he was asked if he had to make a decision between the Giants and Lions. "Again, what's been great is just Philadelphia," he said. "It's just an unbelievable offense that I am trying to stop and defend. The quarterback, the running backs, the tight ends."

Belichick no doubt would be proud of Patricia's answers.

Patricia worked with Lions GM Bob Quinn for 12 years in New England and that was a big factor in his decision to go to Detroit, which will be announced next week. New Giants GM Dave Gettleman is going to be heavy-handed and Patricia may not have had the same input into personnel. Also with John Mara and Gettleman having already signed off on Eli Manning's return, it didn't leave any candidate with much room to maneuver. Patricia inherits Matthew Stafford in Detroit. He is in the prime years of his career.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed with the Giants in Foxborough on the same day as Patricia. He will be named Colts coach next week. He and Shurmur were considered to be trailing Patricia after the interviews.

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Patriots assistant coaches Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
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Patriots assistant coaches Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots gets a Gatorade shower as he celebrates with eefensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels near the end of the game against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels talk in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos hosted the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, November 12, 2017. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots makes a play call from the sideline in the first quarter of a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29: New England Patriots offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels waves to the fans during New England Patriots training camp on July 29, 2017, at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, NY - DECEMBER 24: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels walks the sidelines during a National Football League game between the between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots on December 24, 2017, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia watches a play during a game between the Denver Broncos and the visiting New England Patriots on November 12, 2017 at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 24: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks to Matt Patricia (defensive coordinator) before they play the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Dec. 24, 2017. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Matt Patricia talk prior to their game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots converses with linebackers coach Brian Flores prior to a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 26: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia speaks to the media at the start of training camp at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., July 26, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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"(The Giants) were very impressive," McDaniels said. "Mr. Mara is an unbelievable owner, person, man. Dave Gettleman. They were great. Their presentation was really impressive, tremendous. I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to meet them. They picked a great guy."

Shurmur, Patricia and McDaniels all wound up with head coaching jobs. Who made the best decision? Check back in about 11 months.

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