Ever since Matt Patricia took over as head coach of the Detroit Lions, there have been plenty of reports about players not being happy with the culture of the team.
Former Lions tight end Hakeem Valles recently joined The Pride Podcast and he opened up about the difference between Jim Caldwell and Matt Patricia, Patricia's culture based on fear, and his lack of respect for Lions' owner, Martha Ford.
*All quotes from Pride of Detroit
Valles gave listeners a peek behind the curtains on what his time was like as he watched the Detroit Lions franchise transition from Jim Caldwell to Matt Patricia at head coach, a changing of the guards in which he described as “beyond night and day.”
“The greatest coach, in my opinion, in the NFL of the coaches I know,” Valles said. “And the best player’s coach of anyone. I know the fans might not feel that way, but, man, Caldwell was unreal as a coach, to say the least.”
Valles said the culture Patricia brought to the organization is toxic, especially during team meetings after a game.
“He’s just ripping anybody apart for an hour and some change,” Valles said.
When Valles was cut, he was hoping another team would pick him up so he did not have to go back to the Lions practice squad.
“I was hoping another team picked me up at that point,” Valles said. “I did not want to go back to Detroit, to be real with you. I could not give two ****'s because I’m not in the NFL anymore. I did not like Patricia as a coach. I was praying another team would pick me up and I didn’t have to go back to the practice squad.”
When looking back at his time with the Lions, Valles says Patricia's style of coaching is “disrespectful.”
“He’s creating a culture based on fear,” Valles said. “If you could put that into words, in the sense of, there’s too much ego involved. It’s a very Alpha-Beta type of room, meaning he’s the Alpha, everyone else is better be the Beta. However many meetings there was in the time that he was there, there was not one meeting where he came on time. Wild to me. Wild to me. So much disrespect in that, in my opinion. In the sense of we come late to a meeting, we get fined. (When) he did it, it was almost like on purpose to let you know that, ‘You’re beta, I’m alpha. You’re going to come on time, I’m going to come whenever the (****) I want.’”
Valles added that his Lions teammates that previously played for the Patriots said what Patricia was doing was like Bill Belichick would do only more.
“He was Bill Belichick with his own twist,” Valles said. “We had a lot of guys on our team that came from the Belichick regime out in New England, and all of them (were) like, ‘Yeah, this **** was not like this in New England.’ It’s Belichick with ****** added onto it.”
Valles also called out Lions owner, Martha Ford, saying he has no respect for her.
“Martha Ford has got to sell the team,” Valles said. “She’s still calling shots. That doesn’t make sense. I have zero respect for Martha Ford, mainly because I’ve met her 10-15 times, and every single time I’ve met her, she’s reintroduced herself.”
Valles is surprised that Patricia has not already been fired by the team.
“It would work if every single player got on board with the shit he was pitching, but we’re all grown-ass men,” Valles said. “It would work in college, definitely, but you can’t talk to a grown-ass man any way you want. If you talk to one of your employees at any workplace across America, you’re going to get punched in the face or just quit on the spot. But where the issue comes in is there is so much money on the line (for the players), no one can do that.”
Wow! So, who still thinks Patricia is the right man for the job?
To listen to the full podcast, please click here.