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Detroit Lions Locker Room Leaders Emerge, Set Stage for Year Three of Matt Patricia Era

Matt Patricia has been criticized publicly by many former players including Darius Slay, Damon "Snacks" Harrison, and Quandre Diggs.
Detroit Lions Locker Room

Throughout the entire off-season there has been a large amount of speculation pertaining to the culture within the Detroit Lions locker room under third-year head coach Matt Patricia.

In recent weeks, Patricia has been criticized publicly by many former players including Darius Slay, Damon “Snacks” Harrison, and Quandre Diggs. Each player seemed unwilling to buy into the culture the former New England Patriots defensive coordinator was trying to establish. 

As a result, the organization has since traded or released each veteran. Now, players like quarterback Matthew Stafford, and former Patriots acquisitions Trey Flowers and Danny Amendola are emerging as locker room leaders. Over the course of the past few days each of the players has been taking turns projecting optimism for the upcoming season, as well as characterizing their support of Patricia when speaking with members of the media.

Detroit Lions Locker Room Leaders Emerge Ahead of Year Three of Matt Patricia’s Head Coaching Tenure

Stafford Supports Stability Provided by Detroit Lions Coaching Staff

Yesterday, the Detroit Lions locker room leaders provided a solid, united front while speaking on the subject of their current coaching staff.

First, Stafford expressed optimism for Detroit’s second season since installing a new offensive scheme under coordinator Darrell Bevell. Shortly after, he spoke about his satisfaction with the stability that currently exists with Patricia’s regime.

Speaking with Tim Twentyman, a writer for the team’s official website, Stafford said, “We want to be a great offense and the first step to it is making sure everyone is on the same page pulling in the same direction … I think we’ve got that. Hopefully we can continue to grow and get better in year two …”

Furthermore, the franchise quarterback added, “It doesn’t hurt to be in a second year of an offense and not try to learn something new and try to be a rookie quarterback or second-year guy coming in.”

Patriots Carryovers Back Patricia While Speaking With ESPN

Both Flowers and Amendola showed high praise for Patricia when speaking on a conference call with members of the local media on Thursday.

The Lions head coach was the subject of disdain by former members of the team that were previously mentioned. The focal point of that criticism pertained to a series of interactions with the rookie head coach upon his arrival in Detroit, as well as the team’s practice methods.

In Patricia’s defense, Flowers acknowledged that the team’s current culture might not be for everybody but that he was satisfied with his experience in Detroit so far.

“Coach Patricia, he’s a guy who has always been about winning. And so however he can get that out of guys, he demands highly of them and expects highly of them and his standards are very high no matter what environment he goes in,” said Flowers during the conference call with ESPN. 

He also added, “Guys like you mentioned obviously was accustomed to a different style or a different type, and that’s just how business goes. Some people like it and some people don’t. That’s just how any business you go in, you’re going to have people that agree with things and don’t agree with things.”

Amendola also chimed in during the session by saying, “The way I operate as a football player and the product that I put on the field in relation to the business that I conduct, I want it to be as tough as possible in practice so when I get into the games I’ve been there before.” 

The veteran receiver was able to relate to Patricia’s decision to conduct difficult practices, so the Lions would be prepared in late-game situations. “I understand what it feels like to be tired in a game because I was tired in practice, and I understand what my body can go through and how I can push my body mentally and physically, and that’s something I really relate to. That’s something I look for.”

As of now, the Detroit Lions have been focused on conducting their virtual off-season program in preparation for the upcoming season. Hopefully, the players and coaches can retake the field in time for training camp once the nationwide lockdown stemming from the coronavirus pandemic is lifted.

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