Darius Slay shows leadership amid criticism, perceived Eagles negativity

Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

This is a huge offseason. There’s an understatement, huh? That’s said every year about every team and in every city that is home to an NFL franchise but the statement takes on a whole new meaning when coupled with mentions of the Philadelphia Eagles. There isn’t much money to spend on free agents. The Birds only have six choices in the coming NFL Draft. 20 members of last year’s roster are impending free agents, and on top of that, there are questions about team culture. Some are saying that they aren’t happy with what they’re seeing from guys like Darius Slay among others.

Regardless of whether or not you’ve dedicated tremendous amounts of time to doing deeper dives, it’s been impossible to avoid seeing the abundance of drama that has surfaced since Super Bowl 57.

As soon as you log into your social media accounts, there it is. If you place your phone down and turn on the radio, it sounds like we’re hearing about it there too.

94 WIP-FM’s Morning Show spent much of its time on Tuesday morning gathering theories on whether or not we should be discouraged about what we’re seeing.

Why did Dennard Wilson leave? Why is Philly considering the idea of adding Matt Patricia when Darius Slay doesn’t like him? Why are these guys dedicating so much time to trash-talk on Twitter? Why isn’t Nick Sirianni shutting this down? This is what people are asking.

The truth is Nick Sirianni isn’t allowed to speak with his guys right now about football matters, so the responsibility of leadership comes from the players themselves. Recently, we saw some positivity from Darius Slay. Let’s just say that was right on time.

Darius Slay publicly supports the Eagles’ hire of new defensive coordinator, Sean Desai.

It’s well-known that, following Jonathan Gannon’s exit, many wanted to see Dennard Wilson assume the role of defensive coordinator. That includes the guys that studied under him when he was the team’s defensive backs coach. Well, we all know who those players are. We all know how their push to get Wilson promoted turned out.

Philly elected to hire Sean Desai as the defensive coordinator. Wilson left shortly thereafter, and many, some of our staff included, wondered how those who were loyal to Dennard might react, especially after they publicly backed him.

One of Dennard’s biggest fans is team captain Darius Slay. His response to Desai’s add would carry huge weight, and as a leader does, he unsurprisingly did what a leader should do. He built a bridge rather than a wall and welcomed Desai with open arms. Here’s a quote from his podcast on The Volume’s YouTube channel.

"I can’t wait to meet the new DC, man,” Slay said. “Because I’m gonna tell you, knowing the new DC, it can be tough or it can be easy. You know what I’m saying? And I’m one of them guys that’s going to make it easy for him. I’m going to go in here, willing to learn, willing to figure out how he wants his defense ran. Because me being a leader and a captain on this team, that’s my job to do, make sure everyone is buying into the program."

Great job Slay! The only way to remove negativity is by injecting positive vibes. Big Play is often criticized unfairly for his larger personality, but it’s because of that same personality that this type of cohesion will spread like wildfire. We could use some more of that in Eagles Nation.

Some of the drama has been unnecessary. Who cares what kind of hat A.J. Brown wears? Some of the drama has come from the outside and lends itself to what can best be described as ‘player hating’. Come on San Fran! You’re still angry?

If you’re trying to outlaw the manner in which Philly attacks the quarterback sneak, shame on you. Here’s an idea. Put some better and more dominant plays in your team’s playbook.

Whether we’re discussing Twitter feuds or rumors about the aforementioned free agents, the drama meter has been off of the charts as of late, but once it’s time to work, we trust this team to focus.

Following a crushing loss in Super Bowl 57, it’s back to the drawing board. When push comes to shove, this team will hit the appropriate switch. They’re tighter and more on the same page than some of you realize.