For Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, Tuesday was not about improving pad level and teaching fundaments.
It was about being the mentor and leader a group of football players needed in a highly charged and emotional time in this nation's history.
So for Patricia and the organization, the decision became quite easy.
Football needed to be put on the back burner -- for at least one day.
“Good afternoon. I don’t really know exactly what I have to say other than the fact that -- I do know that when I got into coaching a number of years ago and decided to coach football and leave engineering -- one of the biggest things to me and one of the biggest factors for me was trying to make a difference in people’s lives and trying to just really be there," Patricia said Tuesday.
He explained further, "I know certainly that the coaches in my life helped me grow as a young person, and certainly my dad who was a coach -- that was big also. Something that just as a coach it’s great -- football is great. I love it. It’s my passion. It’s something that I think about all the time -- competing at the highest level. But, it’s about people. It’s about relationships. It’s about trying to help those who need help in any facet, whether if it’s on or off the field, and it’s to listen. This is a pretty special team. We have a great group of guys. We have amazing leaders in that locker room, and really, they’re all leaders in what they do every day."
After making their stand, it will be important for the coaching staff and leaders of the roster to uplift and support each other as they progress through the remainder of training camp.
Make sure to pay attention to and to check in with SI All Lions, as the daily news is analyzed and discussed throughout training camp.