Retired NFL receiver Chad Johnson has been vacationing in Philadelphia, serving as an ambassador of sorts for the City of Brotherly Love while enthusiastically taking in the sights and sounds. He’s also been hyping up the hometown Eagles.
Johnson is quickly becoming an honorary resident, especially after taking batting practice with Phillies slugger (and MVP) Bryce Harper. Now the 44-year-old wants to test his luck on the football field against Eagles cornerback Darius Slay. Johnson casually threw out the challenge to Slay on Twitter after the four-time Pro Bowler asked who wanted to “hit the field” with him for a little makeshift scrimmage.
Johnson saw Slay’s tweet and immediately responded: “I’ll will route yo ass up, if you stop me once I’ll tattoo your name on my arm, no hat.” Slay, not to be outdone, accepted the challenge and turned it into a bet. If Johnson can beat Slay in coverage, he promised to change his number.
Johnson and Slay are expected to meet up somewhere in either Philly or New Jersey (right over the bridge) tomorrow (June 17) at 2 p.m. May the best man win. And, hopefully, one of them records the footage.
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Slay Reminds Everyone: Don’t Call Me Darius
Slay has a hilarious habit of correcting reporters when they call him “Darius” at press conferences. He goes by Slay. The 31-year-old has been doing it ever since he arrived in Philly, which has prompted a 53-second video filled with a good chunk of those gentle reminders.
Why does he do it? Does Slay hate his first name? No, he won’t refer to himself as Darius out of respect for his father. He even changed the back of his jersey to read “Slay Jr.”
“Respect level.” Slay said in 2016, via the Detroit Free Press. “I respect my dad, love my dad. You’re only blessed with one dad, so I know it’ll make him happy so I feel good about it so I just did it for him. My daddy.”
Great Instincts, Student of the Game
Slay is also one of the best players at his position as evidenced by his four Pro Bowl appearances and one All-Pro selection. Johnson is going to have his work cut out for him in his one-on-one matchup. According to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Slay’s ability is “off the charts.”
“Obviously Slay’s ability to play the game, and his ability is off the charts, but what you see that’s common out of most good players is their instincts,” Sirianni said last December, “and their instincts of how he dissects the game, how a guy’s split comes out, what his release looks like. And so, he’s a student of the game. He’s got great instincts, he’s smart, and obviously he’s got great ability, so that’s a great combination and he’s got my vote for the Pro Bowl.”