Eagles star Darius Slay says he, James Bradberry have ‘huge shoes to fill’

Darius Slay #2, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Darius Slay #2, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

As the march towards the summer’s Eagles training camp continues, it’s hard to stop talking about how good the Philadelphia Eagles look on paper and how good they can be going forward. Last season’s surprise playoff run was punctuated by five Birds making the Pro Bowl roster: Jason Kelce, Darius Slay, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, and Jake Elliott. They’ll all be back for the upcoming season.

The current offseason has had quite a few fireworks. Philly has added a star with Pro Bowl-level talent, Haason Reddick. During the most recent NFL Draft, they selected a few guys they hope will make the roster fairly regularly during their careers (Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean) and traded for one of pro football’s best wide receivers, A.J. Brown. This before shocking everyone by landing James Bradberry via a one-year deal following his release from the New York Giants.

Again, it’s been a fun offseason. Oh, and just in case you’re keeping score, A.J. Brown and James Bradberry were both named to the Pro Bowl roster in 2020. Expectations are high as they should be.

Speaking of expectations, Darius Slay has a few of his own.

The James Bradberry signing is key for several reasons. One, the Eagles have been looking for a solid complement to their star corner Darius Slay since trading for ‘Big Play’ during the 2020 NFL offseason. Second, with both Slay and Bradberry on the outside, life will be tough for every opposing quarterback Philly faces this season.

Slay and Bradberry are both aware of that. They know what they bring to the table. They know how good the man is on the other side.

Recently, during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Big Play hung out with Alex Marvez and K.J. Wright to discuss all things Eagles, including his admiration for QB1 Jelen Hurts and how he and Bradberry are trying to fill some pretty big shoes, the ones left by Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard.

Take a listen.

Brown and Sheppard manned the outside as Philly’s starting cornerback tandem primarily from 2004 to 2007, but Sheldon appeared in128 games with 98 starts from 2002 to 2009. Lito appeared in 93 games with 61 starts during his seven-year run from 2002 to 2008 in midnight green (those numbers include 22 playoff games between the two of them.

They combined for 739 tackles, seven sacks, 38 interceptions, 198 pass breakups, 11 forced fumbles, and eight defensive TDs during the regular season and postseason. While it’s doubtful that Slay and Bradberry will play in the same roster for seven seasons, they can prove to be as formidable a duo. No, we’ll so you one better.

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Slay and Bradberry have the opportunity to be as good as what might have been the best Eagles cornerback duo of all time in Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent. As is the case with Sheppard and Brown, Slay and Bradberry won’t be together as long as Troy and Bobby were, but expect to hear a few comparisons. These two have an opportunity to be the best cornerback tandem in the entire NFL for as long as they’re together.