DETROIT - Matt Patricia said he has "1,000%" trust in Matthew Stafford a day after the Detroit Lions quarterback had a heat-of-the-moment outburst on the sideline.
Stafford was caught on camera yelling, "Trust me," twice, after Patricia ordered a timeout with the play clock running down on a key third-and-5 play late in Sunday's 27-27 tie with the Arizona Cardinals.
Officials granted Patricia's timeout request, relayed through offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, seconds before center Frank Ragnow snapped the ball.
Stafford threw complete to running back J.D. McKissic for what would have been a game-clinching first down (and perhaps a touchdown), but the play did not count.
After the timeout, Stafford threw incomplete to Kenny Golladay on third down. The Cardinals blocked Sam Martin's punt on the next snap and scored the game-tying touchdown with 43 seconds to play.
"I don't think any of that's really an issue," Patricia said Monday when asked about his trust level in Stafford. "We have a great trust relationship, so I don't think that's kind of a story. I think it's a raw emotion of probably the situation. I think all of us, obviously, understand what that play is and we can dive into that play as much as we want to, but the fact is we called the timeout because the clock was running down and the mechanics of how that works with the officials."
Replays showed the Lions would have gotten the snap off in time, but Patricia did not want to chance taking a 5-yard delay of game penalty on what he called a "got-to-have-it" play.
The Lions were late breaking the huddle on their original third-down attempt, and wide receivers Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and Golladay were still getting in the correct bunch formation to the right of the line when the play clock showed 3 seconds.
Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia watches players stretch as quarterback Matthew Stafford looks on during a joint practice with the Raiders, Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Napa, Calif.
McKissic, who was split left of Stafford in the backfield, ran across the formation and had nothing but green in front of him as he caught a short pass in the right flat.
He said Monday he probably would have scored if not for the whistle.
"Hopefully," he said. "Honestly, tell (people who disagree) to go back and watch the film and then (they) can think about it judge on (their) own. I don't know who stopped and who kept going, but it looked like we had something but Coach had to make a call."
Patricia has been highly complimentary of Stafford in the past, and he showed his faith in Stafford (and Bevell) by giving them what appeared to be full autonomy during a two-minute drive late in the first half.
As Stafford marched the Lions downfield on a possession that started at the Lions' 25-yard line and ended with a punt, Patricia spent most of the drive with his back turned to the field coaching his defensive line.
"To sum it up, (I trust him) like 1,000%," Patricia said. "It's too long of a conversation I think through the course of multiple different conversations and media sessions and all the rest that everybody knows how highly I think of him and trust in him so there's no issue there."
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