New Detroit Lions cornerback DJ Hayden has some familiarity with both Darius Slay and Glover Quin from their time spent together in Houston working out ahead of training camp during previous offseasons.
Hayden, a former first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, signed with Detroit as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He was the second cornerback taken in the 2013 draft. Slay was the fifth.
"DJ been been cool since we've been drafted," Slay told reporters in Allen Park Tuesday. "We've been training together since we've been drafted. I know what he's capable of. I know what type of player he is. I know what type of work he puts in because we put in the same type of work and same type of effort."
A hamstring injury last season, a foot injury in 2014 and a groin injury his rookie year in 2013, limited Hayden's production in Oakland, costing him 19 games in total.
His best season came in 2015. He played in all 16 games that season and recorded 70 tackles, eight defended passes and an interception. He moved from the outside into the slot last season and found a rhythm there before a hamstring injury ended his season prematurely. He had 37 tackles last year and a forced fumble.
A fresh start in Detroit should do Hayden some good. He could push for playing time either inside or outside in Teryl Austin's defense.
The players are in the beginning stages of the offseason program, which means they're working out, lifting and getting back into shape. There aren't any on-field football drills taking place just yet.
But Slay's experience working out with Hayden in previous offseasons gives him more insight into what Hayden could potentially bring to the table in Detroit.
"(He brings) more size to us," Slay said of the 5-11 Hayden. "He's taller than Nevo (Nevin Lawson). Everybody likes to compete and we just want to compete and make everyone better. We're going to push everybody. He's going to come to the group and compete.
"You know what he's going to bring to the table and we know how he works so he's going to just come in and see how he fits in."