ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia said he hasn’t spoken to cornerback Darius Slay individually about being disgruntled following the trade of safety Quandre Diggs, but Patricia did address the team Wednesday after the club made the move.
“Spoke to the team as far as that’s concerned, and always, obviously, leave all those conversations open and let’s have a conversation if there are questions,” Patricia said. “But as a team we’re just driving towards the Giants. That’s kind of been the focus from that standpoint.”
Patricia mentioned the Giants and the preparation for that opponent in every question he was asked about Slay on Friday — a day after the star cornerback expressed frustration with Diggs being dealt, including saying that there’s no loyalty in the NFL and that he just wants to play ball, whether in Detroit or elsewhere.
Patricia said he understood Slay’s frustration and knows how passionate he is about his teammates and football.
“I know these decisions impact everybody, players, coaches, people throughout the building,” Patricia said. “That’s certainly always the case. They are never easy. We are always trying to do what we think is best at the moment for the team and you move forward. So we addressed everything as a team on Wednesday. Really thought the guys did a great job of turning the page.”
Slay hasn’t practiced all week as he recovers from an injured hamstring suffered against Minnesota last Sunday. He has been at practice, but on the side, watching, during the portion of practice open to the media on Wednesday and Thursday.
The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback also said he wouldn’t care if he got traded, saying “nobody’s safe.” He would just go and play elsewhere — although he made it clear later on Twitter that he plays for the fans and that he loves the fans in Detroit.
“Anybody can get traded but I personally wouldn’t care, my personal feeling,” Slay said Thursday. “Like I said, it’s a business. I wouldn’t care. It is what it is, go on about the next day.”
When asked if he anticipates Slay being around next week, after the trade deadline is passed, Patricia answered in more general terms.
“We always anticipate everybody being here, you know,” Patricia said. “We got to just go and work hard and do everything we can to get better, absolutely. I mean, I hope I’m here.”