Darius Slay is one of the most opinionated members of the Detroit Lions, so naturally, the cornerback would be asked where he stood on the return of head coach Matt Patricia for 2020.
Interestingly enough, Slay didn’t have much to say when broached on the subject by reporters this week. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press explained, Slay was mum on the overall topic of Patricia, even as he explained how the team could be set to improve with their coach.
Here’s a look at what Slay said in the piece:
“Slay was not effusive in his support of Matt Patricia being retained for next season and said he expected him to return because he was under contract. Slay did say the team could be closer to finding success because players have gotten a better feel for Patricia, and said the onus was on players for the team’s defensive struggles.
“Of course,” he said, “it’s the fact that some of us that have been here with Patricia going on two years, gonna be three, so we’ve got a better understanding of him as a coach and what he wants as in his programs.”
Slay said the defense has struggled to finish off games and that coaches have done a good job of preparing players.
“We out there. All they do is tell us to play,” he said. “Obviously it’s mostly on us. It’s a team effort. But as a player, and me personally, I take it to the chest. So I feel like it’s us out on the field so we’re the ones that can fix it. So all they can do is give us a call and we’ve got to go play it and just do it to the best of our ability.”
That’s a pretty standard answer, and not much to see. It will be interesting to see if Slay is correct in his assessment of the team improving after getting to know Patricia better. That’s something which the franchise is banking on in 2020.
Darius Slay Wouldn’t Mind Sticking With Lions
As the deadline came and went a few months back, Slay was subject to many rumors but ended up remaining with the Lions. When that played out, Slay was too busy tuning out the proceedings to care, choosing to play video games in real time during the deadline rather than keep up with all of the trade deadline drama playing out in real time on the internet.
As for the future at that time, Slay admitted that he would have no trouble sticking around in Detroit for the rest of his career, mostly because he loves the fans and how they support him and the team.
That sentiment was something Slay echoed in the piece by Birkett this week when speaking to reporters. It sounds as if the cornerback is prepared for whatever may happen this offseason.
Darius Slay a big Play Player
Slay has been elite since being a second round draft pick of the Lions back in 2013, and has developed into one of the elite shut down corners in the entire league. He’s also a star for the Lions in the community, and arguably, is one of the top faces of the franchise at this point in time. He is fresh off selection to yet another Pro Bowl.
This past offseason, Slay missed the OTA period for Detroit amid wanting a new contract. While the Lions haven’t worked anything out with him, they also haven’t closed the door on making his re-signing a priority in the future, meaning a trade is possible if the team wants to move on. Slay also had a strong reaction to the team dealing Quandre Diggs for a draft pick a few weeks ago.
There’s simply no doubting the importance of him to the team in both the short and the long term. Certainly, what happens with Slay will be quite possibly the most major thing to watch this offseason for the Lions.