It’s a good thing Darius Slay was just recently traded from the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles, guys, because, based off of what reportedly happened with Lions head coach Matt Patricia during a 2018 team meeting, there’s no way in hell the Pro Bowl cornerback could play under that man’s leadership. And to read the details about an exchange between the two makes me wonder how in the hell Patricia still even has a job.
So, according to the Detroit Free Press, here’s what allegedly happened.
During that 2018 team meeting, Patricia was showing film and singling out Darius Slay, which led to a contentious confrontation that saw the head coach absolutely disrespect his star cornerback. Here’s how Slay detailed the exchange.
“He told me in front of the whole team, in the team meeting room, showed clips of me in practice getting a ball caught on me or so in practice,” Slay said. “I posted a picture (of a wide receiver on social media), and he told me, stop sucking this man’s private. So I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ I’m like, ‘Hold up.’ Where I’m from, that don’t fly. Cause I wouldn’t say that to him. I wouldn’t say to him to stop you know what to Bill Belichick. I wouldn’t do that. That’s just not me as a man. That’s disrespectful to me and so from there on it was done with.”
Uh, like I said, if this is true, how in the hell does Matt Patricia still have a job? I know coaches are supposed to push their players and all that, but this seems like borderline verbal abuse, no? Then again, Patricia is known for being a stickler about the weirdest of things.
As one would imagine, Slay wasn’t too thrilled with what his head coach said to him. And, while sitting next to then teammate Glover Quin (described as “GQ” below), the cornerback talked about how his secondary mate had to cool him down and make sure he didn’t react to Patricia’s demeaning remarks.
“I ain’t going to say (I was ready to) fight because of the fact that I just really kind of blacked out a little bit and really asked myself, ‘Did this man just say this to me?'” Slay said. “And like I said, with GQ not sitting beside me in a team meeting room, there’s no telling what could have happened, honestly, cause the fact that I couldn’t believe it. And from where I’m from, stuff gets said like that, a lot of stuff happens. … And GQ sat there and was just like, ‘Nah, calm down Slay. Calm down Slay. You know where it’s going.'”
Considering what Patricia said to Slay, it’s understandable why he wanted to react, but, alas, he was talked out of doing anything drastic by Quin — which is a good thing, because who knows what might have happened otherwise.
While Darius Slay did say he and Patricia had a better relationship during the 2019 season, the incident during the team meeting in 2018 was just too difficult to overcome. It’s why the three-time Pro Bowler wanted out of Detroit so badly over the past year or so, because that impression Patricia made on him a couple years ago was one he’ll never be able to move on from.
“Your first impression always your best impression,” Slay said. “Like I said, I would never disrespect him in that way. And for him to be able to tell me I’m out here sucking another man’s crank because of a picture I post, I ain’t like that. And it took me a whole nother level.”
“Bringing Matty P in with me with how he approached me and said that to me in front of the whole team, it was real embarrassing and I just ain’t appreciate that and that’s where we fell off and that’s where we’re going to always be,” Slay said.
Clearly Slay and Patricia just couldn’t coexist, so it’s a good thing the Lions did the right thing by trading away, arguably, their best defensive player. As some of us know from playing sports to just working in an office, once any mutual respect is gone between a few people, it’s really difficult to overcome those differences and gain trust — so this is a relationship that needed to be broken up given the way Darius Slay was ridiculed two years ago.