Darius Slay has never been too proud to compliment the guys he has to lock down week in and week out. So when the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback was asked to name the best wide receiver in football, he didn’t hesitate: “Davante Adams.”
The Green Bay Packers stud was named first-team All-Pro after catching a league-high 18 touchdowns. He finished the 2020 campaign with 1,374 receiving yards on 115 receptions in 14 regular-season games. Adams, a four-time Pro Bowler, bombed on Slay in Week 13 after making 10 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Slay ranked Adams number one — taking note of his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers — and put Keenan Allen and Amari Copper in the conversation.
“He is for sure the best receiver in the league,” Slay said of Adams on the Pat McAfee Show. “With Aaron throwing him the ball, it makes him even tougher. He can do it all, you know, he’s not one of the fastest guys but on film, he looks fast. Good release guy, one of the best releasers in the league. Him, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper are like the best three I’ve seen release off the ball, but nobody does it better than Davante — and Davante a dog.”
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No One Better Than Calvin Johnson
Slay had the privilege (misfortune?) of going up against Calvin Johnson every day in practice when the two were teammates in Detroit. The former Lions cornerback didn’t even try to sugarcoat that experience. Johnson “destroyed” Slay every day in their one-on-one matchups, much to Jim Schwartz’s delight. He wouldn’t switch up the assignment since he wanted Slay to grow and develop into an elite player.
“My rookie year I ain’t knock a ball down from him,” Slay said. “He was destroying me every day so he made my confidence even more higher than it was already, just the fact that it was already hard to stop him and then getting caught on every day in practice was pretty bad.”
That’s the thing about playing corner in the NFL. Some days aren’t going to go your way and short-term memory is a requirement. Slay knows first-hand after getting dunked on by DK Metcalf and Adams (298 combined yards) this year in back-to-back weeks.
“You gots to have the confidence, man, some people are built for it, I was built for it,” Slay said. “You are going to have those days and you’re trying to figure out where somebody is trying to go at, and trying to stop ’em and you gotta guess for most or part of the time. You know, plays like that are going to happen, you got to keep fighting and keep playing.”
Eagles Players Received Letter About Doug Pederson
The NFL is first and foremost a business and players are employees. So when the Eagles decided to part ways with Doug Pederson, they sent a letter out to the guys on the team and explained the decision to move on from their Super Bowl-winning head coach. Slay was a newbie, coming off his first year in Philly, but still expressed shock over Pederson’s dismissal. He wishes him all the best in the future.
“They sent out a letter, I was surprised,” Slay said. “Shoot, the guy won them their first Super Bowl, a lot of guys were surprised. I thought he had at least a year left. I don’t how their business is, or how it happened, maybe it was some kind of disagreement or something that he wanted to do different. I don’t know but best of luck to him.”
Slay was too smart to dive into the ongoing quarterback controversy between Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts, but he did admit that the defensive players were in the dark over the change. Of course, that’s commonplace on most teams due to the imaginary wall between offense and defense. It was even more pronounced thanks to the COVID-19 protocols.
“I don’t think we even knew that Jalen was going to start until he [Pederson] brung it out to the media,” Slay said. “So we were just like ‘whoever up is whoever’s up’ and we’re just trying to do our best to help the team win. It wasn’t like a whole team meeting of who going to be starting or anything like that.”