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Report: Eagles hire former Lions head coach Matt Patricia despite history with Darius Slay

The Eagles are hiring former Lions coach Matt Patricia, and Nick Sirianni believes he and Darius Slay will have a good relationship despite conflicts in past.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

After some initial confusion regarding the Philadelphia Eagles new coaching hires, it is being reported by Adam Schefter that Philly has hired former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia to be their next senior defensive assistant.

The hire comes a year after Patricia was the New England Patriots’ de facto offensive coordinator. Though his title was officially football advisor/offensive line coach, he called offensive plays for the Pats. It did not go well, and he was not retained by the franchise that had once built up his reputation after a reportedly dysfunctional season on offense.

The Eagles hiring him is notable, because it reunites Patricia with former Lions cornerback Darius Slay. The two had a very public split in Detroit, with Slay getting so fed up by personal attacks on his character that he demanded to be traded.

”Shoot, I didn’t have that much for respect for Matty P, as a person,” Slay said in a 2020 radio interview. “It was hard for me to play for him. That’s all that was.”

Rumors of Patricia coming to Philadelphia date back to March. Coincidentally, the same week those rumors came up, Slay was in a contract dispute with the the Eagles. After some brief trade talk, Slay signed an extension with the Eagles, but did offer a comment about the Patricia rumors via Twitter.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said on Thursday that he has spoken to Slay about the move and felt comfortable moving forward.

“Like you do with everything, you go through and you talk to guys and make sure everybody’s comfortable with it,” Sirianni said. “I had conversations with Slay, I obviously had conversations with coach Patricia and I know that it’ll be a good working relationship for us when that happens.”

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