ALLEN PARK — Thirteen NFL teams called within the first hour after defensive tackle Mike Daniels was released by the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday.
He signed with the Detroit Lions on Saturday and was on the practice field on Sunday for the fourth day of training camp. He was not in pads so he didn’t fully participate but he was out there soaking it in.
Make no mistake about it, there was one reason that Daniels chose the Lions. His name is Matt Patricia.
“He’s just a genius, he really is. He understands the game of football he knows what it takes to be able to play for a coach like that means everything,’’ the 30-year-old Daniels said. “I’m trying to be restrained right now but I’m so excited if I could do a backflip right now I would, I’m so excited.’’
Daniels, who played for the past seven seasons with the Packers, had never met Patricia until their interview on Friday.
“I knew everything about him, I’ve always respected him and respected his work. I thank God I got cut and I have an opportunity to play with a defensive genius,’’ Daniels said. “I’m glad I get the opportunity to play for a coach that demands doing things the right way.
Daniels will join Snacks Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, Trey Flowers, Da’Shawn Hand and Romeo Okwara on the defensive line.
“They definitely have a tough defensive front, they’ve always done a great job. I’ve always respected the Lions’ defensive front and now with coach Paticia being here and seeing the guys he’s brought over here they’ve only gotten better, couldn’t help but notice,’’ Daniels said. “To be able to play with those guys is awesome.’’
He said he’s known Harrison since college and has the utmost admiration for him.
While Daniels seems elated to be in Detroit, he was careful not to in any way slam the Packers.
He credits Green Bay coaches for making him the player he is today.
Daniels missed the last six games of the season in 2018 with a foot injury. He wasn’t clear when asked about his foot.
“Just working and taking everything day by day,” Daniels said.
Patricia was also a little unclear about the status of Daniels’ foot injury.
“You’re not going to throw him in there for 1,000 reps. That’s not really going to work, but you just go along with kind of the pattern of what I said,’’ Patricia said. “He’ll be out there and go through the drills, and we’ll get familiar with him from that standpoint. Trust him, he’s a professional. He’s done this for a long time at a high level. That feedback is critical for me, and our coaching staff, and our medical staff.’’