Eagles Star Reflects On Matt Patricia ‘Disrespect’ During Lions Tenure

Slay and Patricia didn't get along in Detroit


February 8

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay continues to be fueled by the words of former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia.

The five-time Pro Bowler, who spent his first seven seasons in Detroit including two under Patricia, won’t soon forget the “disrespect” he felt upon Patricia’s arrival.

Slay voiced just that while speaking at Super Bowl LVII Media Day before his NFC champion Eagles get set to face the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. He remembers when Patricia told him he shouldn’t be working out with Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib during the offseason because he wasn’t the same caliber of player as either of those cornerbacks.

“He basically just said, ‘You are not in that category yet,'” Slay told reporters, per WXYZ Detroit’s Brad Galli. “By that time, I only had one Pro Bowl but now I’m at five. So I want to know how he feel about that now.”

After serving as a defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, Patricia was named the head coach in Detroit prior to the 2018 campaign. He spent two-plus seasons with the Lions (2018-2020) before he was fired after Week 12 in his third campaign. The Lions went 13-29 during Patricia’s tenure.

“I don’t wish no bad on no man, I always hope the best for him, but as a man, me and him just don’t get along,” Slay said. “But his coaching as a coach, he’s a smart coach. He knows X’s and O’s, he knows how to coach a guy up. But it’s just being a man. The disrespect is not what I’m with.”

The Lions traded Slay to the Eagles before the 2020 campaign. It came after the then-29-year-old cornerback was named to consecutive Pro Bowls with a First Team All-Pro honor during the 2017 season prior to Patricia’s arrival.

Slay and others previously criticized Patricia’s ability to relate and respect players. It likely served as a key reason behind Detroit’s uninspiring performances during those seasons.

“I mean, it was weird how he came in like he was just bigger and better than all of us,” Slay told reporters, per Sports Illustrated. “He acted like we asked to be here. You know, we do get selected. That was crazy. That was a first.”

Slay clearly has had the last laugh as it relates to Patricia. The former defensive-minded assistant called plays for the Patriots offense during the 2022 campaign and was widely mocked along the way. Patricia was replaced at the position earlier this offseason by Bill O’Brien while Slay now is hoping to win his first Super Bowl.

NESN 360 in-article asset
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
NBA: Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves
Previous Article

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks, and Betting Preview

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Next Article

Patriots Reporter Predicts Bill Belichick’s Final Season, Replacement

Picked For You