Darius Slay Trainer on Lions Coach: ‘Matt Patricia is a F***ing Idiot’

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia during his first preseason game.

The Eagles seemingly fleeced the Lions when they swapped two mid-round draft picks for arguably the best cornerback in football.

Darius Slay was traded to Philadelphia after a tumultuous year in Detroit where he often clashed with head coach Matt Patricia. Their relationship had started deteriorating in 2018 when Patricia called him out in front of the entire Lions team. There was no love lost when Slay was finally shown the door.

Now the man who has been training Slay for the past three seasons has added some toxic fuel to that raging inferno. Rischad Whitfield runs Blitz Football Camp in Houston where he teaches innovative footwork techniques to the NFL’s most elite athletes. Whitfield laughed heartily when discussing Patricia and the trade that sent the three-time Pro Bowl corner to Philly.

“Matt Patricia is a fucking idiot. I’m not lying, that dude’s an idiot,” Whitfield said. “I don’t think people understand how good Slay is. The dude is the best cornerback in the NFL. I don’t know why it’s taken some people so long to recognize that. He’s a huge addition to the Eagles.”

That’s a ringing endorsement from a guy who has worked extensively with big-time cornerbacks like Richard Sherman, Joe Haden, Xavien Howard and Kendall Sheffield. Slay’s rare combination of size (6-foot, 190 pounds) and blazing speed (4.36 seconds in the 40) put him in a category all his own.

“He’s a 4.3 dude but no one even knows that,” Whitfield said. “His technique, his footwork, his football IQ is so far ahead of everyone else … he’s brilliant. He recognizes routes and patterns. He doesn’t get beat.”

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Nickell Robey-Coleman NFL’s Best Slot Cornerback

The Eagles’ revamped secondary could be the most improved unit in football this year. In addition to Slay, the team went out and signed veteran cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman to lock down the slot.

What Robey-Coleman lacks in size (5-foot-8, 180 pounds), he more than makes up for in heart. The 28-year-old has talked about bringing his “hard hat to the table” and called himself a “fighter.” That mentality should play out well in a city known for its love of underdog boxers. It doesn’t hurt that Robey-Coleman finished last season as the 19th-best corner in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, and allowed just 0.63 yards per slot coverage snap.

Robey-Coleman is another guy who trains at Whitfield’s Blitz Football Camp in Houston. He’s been down there getting his hips loose and feet ready for the season.

“He’s the best slot corner in the NFL,” Whitfield said. “He’s scrappy … he’s only like 5-foot-7 or 5-foot-8 but you’re not getting a bunch of separation from him. He’s tough, physical and has great ball skills. And he’s got a vertical that makes up for any kind of height disadvantage.”

He posted a 37.5″ vertical and 127″ broad jump at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, along with a 4.53 40 time. There has been some chatter about Robey-Coleman possibly moving out of the slot cornerback position and starting outside opposite Slay in Philly. Whitfield doubts that will be the case.

“He can definitely play on the outside but I don’t think he will,” Whitfield said. “Slay is covering the No. 1 receiver and then watch out for Rasul [Douglas]. He’s coming in strong.”

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