With the hiring of new head coach Dan Campbell, the Detroit Lions have seemingly returned back to having a leader at the helm that is considered more of an ally to the players.
After moving on from Jim Caldwell who was widely respected across the league and in Detroit's locker room, the organization decided to bring in Matt Patricia, and everything changed -- seemingly overnight.
In an appearance on the "Baligian and Bell" show Wednesday, former Lions defensive back Darius Slay discussed some differences in how Caldwell treated the team vs. Patricia, who regularly used profanity when frustrated with players.
"It was like a respect thing, mainly," Slay said. "Caldwell treated us with respect. To be honest, Caldwell had more rules. But, Caldwell did it in more of a professional way. We always had a big issue with our shirts tucked in during practice. He (Caldwell) didn't cuss you out about it. He would politely ask to have our shirts tucked in, give you one warning and then you get fined. It wasn't that big of a deal."
He added, "Under Patricia, it was more like -- m'fing you and all that kind of other stuff. Caldwell was more manly about it ... We are all grown men."
Advice for cornerback Jeff Okudah
Playing cornerback is no easy task, and the Philadelphia Eagles' talented defensive back can relate to the struggles adjusting to playing in the National Football League.
Slay recalled being benched on three separate occasions his rookie campaign in Detroit by then-head coach Jim Schwartz.
What advice would Slay offer Okudah, after the former Ohio State standout's challenging rookie season in Detroit?
"Just to stay confident. I'll talk to Jeff a lot -- my little brother. I try to stay in contact with him every time I possibly can," he said. "I had a bad rookie year. I got benched three times my rookie year by (Jim) Schwartz. I understand how he felt. I feel like I motivate him. What I told him (is) best to do is (to) keep playing and keep learning."
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