BOSTON (CBS) -- Matt Patricia rejoined the Patriots organization this offseason, following his stint as the head coach of the Detroit Lions. The 46-year-old didn't step back into a coaching role, though, instead taking on the title of "senior football advisor."
What that job entails, well, that's a minor mystery. As is often the case with the Patriots, information is generally only distributed when necessary or required. Such a philosophy can lead to people like Ernie Adams working two decades in a vague but seemingly critical role for Bill Belichick.
Since Patricia rejoined the team, it's been reported that "he has been helping finalize contracts," with his name printed on some of those contracts.
Now, thanks to Cam Newton letting some things off his chest, we know that Patricia was in the room with Belichick when it came time to inform players that they were cut from the team.
"When it happened, we went through the meeting, and Matt Patricia was there, Bill was there, and we greeted each other and just started talking," Newton said. "And at that time they told me that they were going to give the reins to Mac. And I was like, OK, cool."
Newton then stated that the rest of the message -- that he was being cut from the team instead of kept as a backup -- wasn't exactly articulated clearly at first.
"And it didn't dawn on me that I was like … Y'all are releasing me?! I was just asking. I was confused," Newton said. "Because Bill was like … we all were shocked. It was all uncomfortable for everybody."
Patricia was the Patriots' defensive coordinator from 2012-17, winning a pair of Super Bowls during that time. He started with the organization in 2004 as a coaching assistant. He also worked as an assistant offensive line coach, linebackers coach and safeties coach.
His head coaching stint in Detroit didn't go as well as he or the Lions hoped, as the team went 13-29-1 before firing Patricia last season.
Since returning to the Patriots, Belichick has spoken highly of Patricia's impact with the team.
"Yeah well of course Matt's done this for the last three years in a different organization, so he's familiar with our process, his process, and all the things that go around that. So he's been really a very valuable resource and confidant and somebody to talk to who's been through the same things that we've been through," Belichick said in April. "And his experience and perspective has been extremely valuable."
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