Matt Patricia passed on rocket science to join Patriots coaching staff

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is a genius when it comes to drawing up schemes to stop opposing offenses, but that is not all he specializes in.

Patricia, 42, is a vital member of the coaching staff and a defensive mastermind, who happens to have a background in rocket science.

“He’s a very smart man. I was surprised that he went away from rocket science to come into football,” Rob Ninkovich said.

Patricia studied aeronautical engineering at RPI in Troy, New York. That put him on track to land a job at companiess like Boeing or Raytheon.

“It is very surprising,” Malcolm Butler said of Patricia’s decision to get into football. “He’s got a love for the game. All of that knowledge translates over to football.”

Patricia worked for a few years after college before leaving to become a football coach at Amherst College. He caught the eye of Bill Belichick in 2004.

“He was doing something he did not want to be in anymore and just dropped it all,” Ninkovich said. “It ended up working out well.”

In the Super Bowl, he’ll have a tall task in going up against Matt Ryan and the high-octane Atlanta Falcons attack.

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