The Detroit Lions decided to officially cut ties with cornerback Darius Slay earlier this week, shipping him to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round pick (No. 85 overall) and a fifth-round pick (No. 166). And if you were expecting Slay to simply head to his new home quietly, you'd be terribly mistaken.
Slay immediately began sharing his frank thoughts about his time in Detroit and about head coach Matt Patricia in particular, saying that he didn't respect his former head coach among other things.
Speaking about being outspoken, ESPN host Stephen A. Smith had plenty to say about the situation in a panel that included former New England Patriots/Detroit Lions guard Damien Woody as well as Max Kellerman, who questioned Patricia's lack of “bonafides” compared to an established future like Slay.
“What have you done as a head coach that gives you standing to talk to a player that does have standing in the league like that?” Kellerman wondered aloud. “I think this is an issue of two people who have outsized versions of themselves. In Slay's case, it can be productive. In Patricia's case, I would think it's counterproductive if he comes off that way to players without his bonafides to back it up.”
“I think what happens with a lot of guys who come from the Belichick tree is that they try to take the Patriot culture, uproot it and take it wherever they are,” Woody explained. “I've talked to many people – it doesn't work that way. If you can't earn to be yourself and build your own culture, nine times out of ten you're going to fail – and that's what we're seeing in Detroit right now….a real coach knows how to adapt to different personalities.”
“The problem is a guy like Matt Patricia doesn't necessarily have the cache,” Smith said, “and you have assistants who walk on the job believing they had cache because of what they did as assistants – not recognizing the fact that the people who get the most credit is the head coach.”