Camp Spotlight: Cornerback Darius Slay

Posted Aug 10, 2015

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of cornerback Darius Slay during Day 7 of training camp practice.


Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 192

College: Mississippi State

Experience: Third year

Outlook: In just two seasons, Slay has become one of the league’s most promising young cornerbacks. He has a unique blend of speed, agility and toughness that allows him to be effective in both press and off coverage.

Darius SlayCB Darius Slay (Photo: Detroit Lions)

He’s certainly benefitted from his friendship with veteran Rashean Mathis, who took Slay under his wing as soon as he arrived midway through training camp in Slay’s rookie season.

Last year’s playoff game vs. Dallas really showed how far Slay has come. He shadowed Dez Bryant around all game and held him in check. He even pressed one of the league’s top receivers to his knees on one play.

Slay is the Lions’ top cornerback and coaches are really excited about his development and his potential in year three. The Lions think he has the tools to be a real shutdown corner in this league.

Practice report: Slay continued his solid play in camp on Monday.

The corners and receivers didn’t do one-on-one passing drills today because the Lions worked a lot on third down and red zone scenarios.

When it came to 7-on-7 and team drills, the first-team offense stayed away from Slay most of the day.

Matthew Stafford did throw his way in a 7-on-7 drill that went incomplete to TJ Jones with Slay in sticky coverage.

Slay also had terrific recognition in zone coverage later in the 7-on-7 drill to come up and make a play on Theo Riddick after just a 2-yard gain.

The defense was better than the offense Monday and that was particularly the case in the red zone. Slay and the first-team defense kept the first-team offense out of the end zone.

The only time Slay has really been beat through the first week of camp has been by Calvin Johnson, and that eventually happens to every cornerback in this league when it comes to Megatron.

Quotable: “I’m a big play guy,” Slay said of his nickname Big Play Slay. “I make big plays. That’s why I’m Big Play Slay.

“(My confidence) came with my name. My coach gave (the nickname) it to me as a junior in college. He said ‘you make a lot of big plays so you’re Big play Slay.’ I just took it from there.”