New free agent signing Mike Daniels made his Lions debut in Allen Park on Sunday morning. He didn’t get any on-field work in, but he could be heard helping out some of the younger players on defense. While he was loud on the field with his teammates, he was calm and spoke softly when he said the quote that had everyone in the press room’s attention.
When asked why he chose to come to Detroit over some of the other teams that were interested in him, he immediately said, “Coach Patricia.” When asked to elaborate on that he said “he’s just a genius.”
Mike Daniels asked why he picked Detroit. “Coach Patricia, straight up. He’s just a genius, he really is. He understands the game of football, he knows what it takes. To be able to play for a coach like that, it means everything.”— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) July 28, 2019
That’s quite the comment. Especially since it wasn’t long ago that the belief was that players didn’t want to play for Matt Patricia after Sports Illustrated published a report in which agents told them Detroit was an undesirable destination. “Especially with Matt ‘I think I’m Belichick but I haven’t done s---’ Patricia,” one anonymous agent said.
Daniels comments just about destroy that narrative.
What’s interesting is that Mike Daniels commented that he had never even met Matt Patricia before signing with the Lions on Friday. So this something where the belief in the league, at least among some of the players, is that Matt Patricia is a guy that defensive players want to play for, and his reputation is good. Daniels, in fact, said his reputation is that “he does things the right way.”
Daniells wasn’t the only new Lion that had praise for Matt Patrica on Sunday. New corner Rashaan Melvin said Patrica was “No BS” when the media spoke with him after camp.
One has to wonder what this means for the Lions’ future on the defensive side of the ball. If guys like Daniels are willing to not only turn down other teams—he said he turned down 13 of them—but turn down more money to come to Detroit, maybe this is the start of a trend
You could say it may have started already. Daniels praised his current teammates along the defensive line.
“They definitely have a tough defensive front,” Daniels said. “With Coach Patrica being here and seeing some of the guys he’s brought over here, they’ve only gotten better.”
Daniels also talked briefly about a few other topics like his lisfranc injury that he suffered last season. He mentioned that he just needs to work it more every day, but didn’t give any more information about how his recovery has gone or if he believes he’ll return to form.