The murmurs of discontent began early in Matt Patricia's tenure. They were loud and clear by the end of it, with several former Lions ripping the team's head coach for what they considered an arrogant, abrasive personality.
And not just practice squad players and bench guys. Team captains like Glover Quinn and Quandre Diggs, Pro Bowlers like Darius Slay. Patricia and Bob Quinn did their best to root out the players who didn't fit what they were looking for, and in the end it cost them their jobs.
Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp downplayed the objections of former players in her press conference Saturday shortly after the team fired Patricia and Quinn, saying it wasn't a concern over the course of Patricia's tenure.
"Players are going to have different ideas," she said. "Some players are going to think one way, some are going to think another. Not really, no. I mean, hoping that it was going to all pull together (this season). In many ways, I think we’ve got a really talented team, or a talented team. I think we should have come together better than we have. We just felt like the leadership wasn’t getting that job done.”
The locker room's resistance to Patricia in 2018 is a big reason the Lions went from a nine-win team to a six-win team, to a three-win team the year after. Patricia improved his relationships with his players this year, but the damage was already done.
To no surprise, several of the players that Quinn and Patricia cast aside reveled in the duo's demise on Saturday.
Here's Darius Slay, whose well-documented beef with Patricia forced the Lions to trade him last offseason:
Here's A'Shawn Robinson, who was drafted by Quinn in 2016 and who spent two seasons under Patricia before leaving as a free agent. Robinson indicates that Patricia threatened to end his career:
Here's Eric Ebron, who was cut by Quinn after the 2017 season:
Here's Ziggy Ansah, who spent one season under Patricia before leaving as a free agent:
Here's Dan Orlovsky, who has mostly defended Quinn but who's gone after Patricia since his infamous "a lot of work to do" comment following the Lions' loss to the Saints last month:
Other former players sounded off on Instagram, including Stephen Tulloch who responded to the news with two words: "ABOUT TIME." And then two more: "THANK YOU."