Oday Aboushi isn’t the biggest name on the Detroit Lions, so when he got an offseason call from his head coach Matt Patricia, it was a bit of a surprise.
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Patricia phoned Aboushi, a native New Yorker, just to show he cared and wanted to see how his player was doing given he was located in a hot spot. It was a gesture that meant a lot to the lineman and still resonates to this day as the team’s unique offseason has progressed.
Joining Good Morning Football, Aboushi was asked to talk a bit about his head coach and what makes him unique. He cited the call during a national pandemic, a moment when the player hadn’t even reached out to the coach for any communication himself.
Aboushi also said that he noticed from the beginning family was vital for Patricia, something which he sees as different and a huge determining factor in what sets him apart in his profession.
“I think the biggest difference right off the bat with Patricia is he cares,” Aboushi said. “He cares more than football, more that statistics. He cares about you as a player, as a man and as a family. Him being a New York guy, he’s big on family and the east coast vibe as family is everything. He treats football the same way.”
Many have had their public differences with Patricia in the last few months, but it’s clear this offseason has brought this version of the Lions together in a very impressive way. The coach has been taking command as a leader and to the players, it’s been impressive.
Oday Aboushi Revealed Generous Food Donation to New York
If the tone for a team is set from the top down, the Lions have established a solid culture and Aboushi has proven with his actions he’s a part of that. Recently, Aboushi donated 35,000 pounds of food to help Harlem in the wake of the city battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a look at the trucks rolling in and how the day went:
Aboushi commented on the reasoning behind the donation in an interview on the Jim Rome Show. Here’s a look at what he said.
“I know it’s been a tough time for New York City so, doing everything we could to do our part as a fellow New Yorker, as a fellow human to give back and try to support people as much as we can during this time,” he explained in the interview to Rome.
Aboushi himself hails from Brooklyn, New York so helping out his home city is an amazing thing to see indeed. As Aboushi said, feeling the thanks for what he and others were able to put together for the city was something he was very excited for.
“Honestly, it was overwhelming with the kind of gratitude we were able to feel with people,” he said. “Overall, it was an amazing effort by the community, an amazing effort by a lot of people across the board. Teamwork makes the dream work and we were able to help out Harlem as much as we could.”
Aboushi is planning donations in the future, with the next round perhaps expected to help Staten Island. It’s excellent to see Aboushi touching folks directly with these donations.
Matt Patricia Praised for Offseason Leadership
Aboushi isn’t the only one impressed with his coach and his attention to detail this offseason in all facets. Safety Duron Harmon thinks that Patricia deserves a ton of credit for the team’s unified and positive response to the ongoing nationwide discussion. As he said in a recent interview with DetroitLions.com, Patricia should be praised for his handling of the situation and his allowing for the team to share their viewpoints openly and putting football on the back burner for the time being.
“I believe we’ve been going a lot deeper than some other teams. Obviously I can’t speak for other teams, I’m just speaking off the experiences we’ve had,” he said. “We’ve had conversations each and every day last week. Matty P did a great job brining attention to the team last Friday. He’s given us an opportunity as black men to express our frustrations and for our white brothers in there, to give an opportunity to learn what we go through. Give them experiences that we went through because some people are oblivious, right wrong or indifferent. It’s been really powerful.”
According to Harmon, the reason the team has been able to have such discussions is Patricia setting the tone at the top and letting the players dictate the conversation and where it goes.
“(It starts) with the leadership of Matty P. We started phase 3 last week but with everything going on, how can you truly focus on football? I think he understood that and we were appreciative of that as a team,” Harmon said. “It’s been great conversations from top to bottom. We’ve been able to grow as a team. At the end of the day, this is a team sport and if you can truly commit to each other and love each other no matter your race, gender, anything, that’s how a team really creates a brotherhood and the wins will come off of that.”
Plenty of Lions have spoken out powerfully following a week of discussions and Patricia himself admitted the events have touched him deeply. That’s led to a situation where the team has come together in a very powerful way.
As Harmon said, what Patricia has done could only bring the team together tighter ahead of the 2020 season. Aboushi would likely agree with this same sentiment given what he experienced this offseason.