This news has been received from:

All trademarks, copyrights, videos, photos and logos are owned by respective news sources. News stories, videos and live streams are from trusted sources.

Getty Stephon Gilmore

The biggest splash the Eagles made in the offseason was trading for Darius Slay, arguably the best cornerback in football. He’s the first lock-down corner the franchise has had since Asante Samuel left town.

But Slay has been disrespected by the national media as well as by analytics-driven websites like Pro Football Focus for a “down year” in 2019.

He finished with just two interceptions and graded out at 56.4 in coverage, the second-lowest rating of his career. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, though. Slay was forced to match up against the top receiver on every team he faced last year — guys like Davante Adams, Amari Cooper, Stefon Diggs — and held his own.

On Friday, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz shed some light on the player the Eagles gave up a third- and a fifth-round pick to acquire from Detroit. Schwartz compared him favorably to Stephon Gilmore, another lock-down cornerback who he coached as a rookie in Buffalo.

“We’re really excited about having him [Slay]. I had Steph Gilmore early in his career in Buffalo and Steph matched everybody last year with the Patriots and was an All-Pro player and matched everybody,” Schwartz told reporters. “He wasn’t ready for that early in his career when I was with him in Buffalo, but Slay is a guy who is sort of at the same point. He’s done a lot of that in the past and it won’t be anything new for him and we’re really excited to have him and I think it’s going to add a different dimension to our secondary.”

Darius Slay:

➤ 85 forced incompletions since 2014

???????????????? ???????? ???????????? ????????????

— PFF (@PFF) July 9, 2020

Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Slay Expected to Match Opponents’ Top Receiver

Maybe Slay’s numbers were down in 2019, or perhaps people weren’t paying attention to his role. The 29-year-old has faced the third-most targets in single coverage over the last two seasons. Single coverage, of course, is the hardest thing for a cornerback to do since he’s literally on an island.

Schwartz cautioned about looking solely at interceptions to judge Slay or any cornerback. Look at their complete body of work, things like passes defensed and how they finish tackles particularly on crucial third-down plays. The Eagles defensive coordinator recalled Samari Rolle — his former standout corner in Tennessee — who didn’t record his first pick until Week 17 when he was coaching him in 2004.

Darius Slay shadows in 2019

— Jeff Ratcliffe (@JeffRatcliffe) March 19, 2020

“If they’re not throwing at him, he’s probably not going to make very many interceptions,” Schwartz said. “So I think there are a lot of ways to judge the effectiveness of a corner. Interceptions aren’t always the number one thing. He can do his job by preventing the quarterback from throwing or making the quarterback throwing passes that are incomplete, or allowing you to shore up other parts of your defense because he can play a guy — making tackles, allowing a completion on 3rd and 7 for four yards, or making that strong tackle and the punt team comes on the field.”

Shutdown Cornerback Lining Up at the Nickel Spot

The competition in Eagles training camp for the nickel cornerback spot will ultimately come down to Nickell Robey-Coleman and CreVon LeBlanc, two of the best in the business. But don’t count out a rotation at that spot, including certain circumstances where Slay may need to bounce inside. He wants all his corners cross-trained in every position.

“If Slay lines up at the nickel, the nickel needs to be able to line up at the outside corner, and you need to be able to play man and zone and blitz from that same look,” Schwartz said. “That’s something we’ll get ready for in training camp and we’ll probably just let him pick a guy in the huddle because we really won’t know who the offense has out there.”

Darius Slay's match-and-mirror ability is still up there with the best in the NFL.

Shadowing every team's top receiver in and away from the slot is a tall order, but he was always in his opponent's hip pocket — some of his best reps are on catches allowed.

— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 19, 2020

That means the gameplan will likely change on a weekly basis, in terms of whether Slay matches up against the opposing team’s top receiver. For the most part, Slay will be expected to shoulder the load.

“We’ll pick a guy and we’ll practice it,” Schwartz said. “And then it’ll just be a game plan decision on a weekly basis, you know, number one if it’s a who and then number two if we’re going to match that week, we’ll sort of play it from there.”

Money didn’t make me, hard times did!!!!!

— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) April 17, 2020

Slay himself echoed that statement upon landing in Philadelphia. The Eagles will face a steady diet of elite pass-catchers in 2020, including Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Amari Cooper (twice), A.J. Green, Odell Beckham, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Davante Adams and DK Metcalf.

“Oh, I love the challenge,” Slay said in May. “I kind of ask for it a lot because of the fact that I want the game on me and I want to help win the game. If the best route to go about it is me traveling with a guy, then I’ll do it.”

Follow the Heavy on Eagles Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

READ NEXT: Browns Top Pick Jedrick Wills Reveals New Jersey Number

News Source:

Tags: nfl nfl philadelphia eagles breaking news 5 fast facts crime celebrities politics nfl basketball ufc college football soccer golf wags baseball television celebs music movies google apple android microsoft apps smartphones news xbox one ps4 mobile pc games accessories disney plus shopping darius slay

Judge starts new injunction barring Lee statue removal

Next News:

7 NFL quarterbacks under the most pressure to perform in 2020

Next1 of 3Prev postUse your ← → (arrows) to browse

The 2020 NFL season presents a make-or-break opportunity for a number of players, but these seven quarterbacks face the most pressure.

With uncertainty abounding regarding the upcoming NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic, many players in contract years face make-or-break seasons. Especially at the quarterback position, teams want stability, and a rocky year under difficult circumstances could lead to a change of scenery for some big names.

7. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

When healthy, Carson Wentz has shown the ability to be a franchise quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, but injuries have been a major issue. The North Dakota State alum has not played a full playoff game with Philadelphia despite the Eagles making the postseason in each of the last three seasons.

Until Wentz proves he can stay healthy, Philadelphia will never truly count on him, as evidenced by the second-round selection of Jalen Hurts. While Wentz is not going anywhere, team brass clearly feels the need to invest heavily in its backup quarterback position.

RELATED PRODUCTCarson Wentz North Dakota State BobbleheadBuy Now!Buy Now!6. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Headed into a contract year in 2020, Cousins signed an extension in the offseason to lock him into Minnesota’s plans for at least the next three seasons. However, with a mass exodus on defense and top receiving option Stefon Diggs in Buffalo, Cousins needs to prove that he can elevate his supporting cast.

The Vikings certainly have talent, but Cousins’ struggles in big games are well-documented. If he continues to be just a bit above average, it could become clear to Vikings ownership that he is not the man to bring the franchise its first Super Bowl.

Next: Derek Carr, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott

Next1 of 3Prev postUse your ← → (arrows) to browse

Other News

  • Eagles’ Sidney Jones Working Out with NFL All-Decade CB
  • Eagles Sidney Jones Working Out with NFL All-Decade CB
  • Are Kids Stoppers or Spreaders? It Depends on Who in Trumpland You Trust.
  • New York : América and Pumas are the super leaders of Liga MX
  • Grady Jarrett Ready to Go Wreck it Up With Falcons New DE
  • NFL opt-out deadline is set, report says
  • Eagles’ Jack Driscoll Studying ‘Tips of the Commerce’ from Former Falcons Guard
  • Eagles Jack Driscoll Learning Tricks of the Trade from Former Falcons Guard
  • Vikings land DT P.J. Hall in deal with Raiders for late pick
  • Bosa says extension came together faster than he expected
  • Vikings Land DT P.J. Hall In Deal With Raiders For Late Pick
  • Lions Finish 2020 NFL Draft Class by Signing Final Pick
  • Vikings Acquire Another Defensive Weapon In Trade With Raiders: Report
  • General Hospital Spoilers For Tuesday: Nelles Confrontational Ninas Defensive
  • Lions Daylon Mack Draws Comparison to Productive Defensive Tackle
  • Raiders Change Course, Trade Former 2nd Rounder to Vikings
  • Seattle Seahawks Agree to Terms With Pass Rusher: Report
  • LSUs Jamal Pettigrew is 4th Tiger to enter the transfer portal
  • P.J. Hall is Raiders latest second-round whiff in draft