Since becoming the Detroit Lions’ head coach in 2018, Matt Patricia has gone just 12-27-1. The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator hasn’t found success in the Motor City and it appears players on the team aren’t the biggest fans of him.
According to Kalyn Kahler of Bleacher Report, players on the Lions actually celebrated getting away from Patricia by making mimosas in the locker room following Patricia’s first season in charge.
One player’s agent had sent him champagne for a Christmas gift, and he had kept it in his locker, waiting for the right moment to uncork the celebration. Saying goodbye to Patricia, at least until OTAs, seemed like just the reason to party. Before the Lions’ last team meeting, mid-morning, a group of 10 to 15 players took orange juice from the cafeteria and mixed it with the champagne to make mimosas.
Darius Slay, who played for Matt Patricia and the Lions at one point in his career, once told ESPN that he lost all respect for Patricia in 2018 when the Lions coach told him he wasn’t “elite.”
Detroit wound up trading Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles in March of 2020. The cornerback wasn’t shy when asked to talk about what Patricia was like as a head coach.
“I’m like, ‘Huh?’ I said, ‘Huh.’ I’m trying to see where he’s coming at. He said I wasn’t an elite corner and that I’m not in their category. I was coming off an All-Pro year, eight picks,” Slay said. “That told me right there that he didn’t have no respect for me. He told me I was a good player, but then to tell me what I’m not, so I said, OK. I just took that to the chin and said, ‘OK, that’s cool.’ Then I bounced back to two back-to-back Pro Bowlers on him. Let him know how elite I was.”
The Lions are 3-5 on the 2020 season. They will likely miss the playoffs again and most fans of the club are hoping Patricia gets fired, which could very well happen.