There was one key factor in Mike Daniels’ decision to join the Lions.
It was Matt Patricia.
Daniels penned a reported one-year deal worth $9.1 million ($7.8 million of that fully guaranteed) with Detroit, which made sure they landed the Pro Bowl defensive tackle by waiving running back Theo Riddick in a corresponding move.
It happened just two days after Daniels was released by the Packers on the eve of training camp.
He addressed media Sunday, citing Patricia as the reason he joined the organization.
“Coach Patricia, flat out,” Daniels said, via the team’s website. “He’s just a genius. He really is. He understands the game of football. He knows what it takes. So to be able to play for a coach like that it means everything. I’m really trying to be restrained right now because I’m so excited. If I could do a backflip right now I’d do one, but I can’t. I’m really excited.”
Daniels was even thankful he got released from Green Bay after spending his entire seven-year career there, up to this point.
“I thank god that I got cut and I have an opportunity to play for a defensive genius,” he added.
Daniels regressed last season, tallying 18 tackles and two sacks in 10 games, and the Packers reportedly attempted to trade him during the offseason.
But, his resume earned high praise from Patricia — who said Daniels is “one of the guys that loves the grind of the game” — and fellow teammates.
“He’s a super fierce competitor,” left tackle Taylor Decker said. “I don’t go against him every single play, but there are plays I have to block him. He has a huge motor. I’m glad he’s on our team.
“I think he’s great for us to have. Obviously, the organization felt that way, going out to get him. He’s going to make us better. He’s a little spicy. He’ll be fun. It makes it fun coming out here. You want to have some energy and competition in practice. It makes it fun.”