The Detroit Lions have some major defensive problems this season, and Darius Slay recently sounded off about them. Don’t take those comments too literally, however.
Tuesday, Matt Patricia spoke and was asked about the comments Slay made, when he essentially said the Lions aren’t putting the right puzzle pieces together. According to Patricia, Slay’s comments may have been taken out of context after he spoke with Slay and set the record straight.
In a piece at the Detroit Free Press, Dave Birkett explained what Patricia said happened after the comments were made. As the coach said, there were some things to be clarified.
“I think for us as a defense, we are all on the same page, we understand what the game plan is every single week, what we got to do to try to win,” Patricia said in a teleconference Tuesday. “We see a lot of great players, see a lot of great scheme and sometimes we make good plays and sometimes we don’t. For us it’s about trying to put some consistency together to do that every single play.”
Patricia said he and Slay spoke after Slay’s postgame comments caught fire Sunday and seemed to imply either the Lions weren’t fully grasping Patricia’s defense, or weren’t being put in the right place to succeed.
On Tuesday, Patricia said some of Slay’s comments were mischaracterized.
“I think some of that’s not really accurate as far as how the comments were taken and what was said,” he said.
Slay’s comments seemed to indicate a difference of opinion between the team and staff.
Darius Slay Comments on Lions Defense
Speaking after the game last week, Slay went into a bit more detail than any of the other players in terms of trying to explain what’s gone wrong. According to the cornerback, Detroit is close to solving their problems, but they haven’t managed to put all the pieces together in the right places.
Slay took things a bit further as a piece by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press showed, even admitting that he believes Detroit’s defense hasn’t evolved enough.
These statements are revealing, as the Lions have been fighting for the better part of a year to figure out how to put pieces in the right place. The fact they haven’t done it yet from the view of their star cornerback is pretty frustrating, even as getting a team together takes time.
With Patricia’s response, perhaps the Lions can move on and the situation can resolve itself.
Matt Patricia Talks Defense
If there’s anyone who knows the value of defense to a team, it’s Patricia, who has presided over some of the better groups in the league. According to Patricia, though, the Lions have to focus in on the fundamentals.
“We got to just keep pounding away to get it better,” Patricia told the media honestly a few weeks back. The statement was specifically about the rush defense, but it could have been a metaphor for the whole entire group.
How does Patricia propose that? By staying aggressive as a teacher and emphasizing what the Lions can do better in terms of fundamentals. As he admitted to the media, he believes in Detroit’s scheme, but thinks the team needs to find a way to continue to improve. As he said, he believes that falls on him as a teacher with some of the things that he can emphasize week to week for Detroit to improve upon.
Patricia also echoed that sentiment after the game against the Raiders, saying he believes that he merely has to be a better teacher and get through to the players better where they have to be on the field and what their roles are.
Apparently, the Lions are still struggling with the little things, which is a big problem as they try to get their season back on the right track. Patricia is facing the pressure of putting his team on the right track.
Getting things ironed out with one of the biggest stars is significant.
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