It has been two years since Darius Slay was with the Detroit Lions, but it wasn't long ago when the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback had a score to settle against his former team. The grudge against the Lions is no longer there, though, despite the Eagles being scheduled to visit Detroit during the 2021 season.
Did time heal all wounds? No, it's just that a certain coach Slay had an issue with is no longer in Detroit.
"Not anymore," Slay said Friday about being upset with the Lions after Eagles training camp practice. "I was. If (Matt) Patricia was there I'd be very excited."
Slay has never minced words when it comes to his former coach. Slay said he met with Patricia in a one-on-one meeting after an offseason workout with Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib and Xavier Rhodes. Coming off an All-Pro season, Slay said Patricia told him he wasn't "elite." Slay said he lost respect for Patricia after that.
The second incident occurred during training camp in Patricia's first season as head coach.
"He told me in front of the whole team, in the team meeting room, showed clips of me in practice getting a ball caught on me or so in practice," Slay said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "I posted a picture (of a wide receiver on social media), and he told me, stop s------ this man's private.
"So I'm like, 'Whoa.' I'm like, 'Hold up.' Where I'm from, that don't fly. Cause I wouldn't say that to him. I wouldn't say to him to stop you know what to Bill Belichick. I wouldn't do that. That's just not me as a man. That's disrespectful to me and so from there on it was done with."
The relationship was beyond repair at that point. Slay was upset over the comments Patricia made, explaining he made a bad first impression. He needed to get out of Detroit and Philadelphia was able to help him out.
Slay had an up-and-down season in Year 1 with the Eagles. Opposing quarterbacks targeting Slay completed 69% of their passes and threw three touchdowns while finishing with a 79.1 passer rating when Slay was the primary defender. Slay finished with just one interception on the year.
The Eagles face the Lions on Halloween in 2021: Week 8, Sunday, Oct. 31.