We're going to be totally transparent and honest here. Prior to writing this, we didn't spend any time with Darius Slay. There was no attempt to reach out to the Philadelphia Eagles star for comment. No time was spent pondering whether or not he'd be a fan of anything that was printed. Still, even with all of that being said, there's no fear in making this next statement because we know it to be true.
Darius Slay is not a man who is lacking in self-confidence despite the fact that he has seen some recent criticism. That's a good thing. Playing in a city like Philly, a professional athlete must develop a tough skin.
He turned 32 years young in January. By most standards, he's still a young man, but by professional football standards, he is almost ready for social security. Last season, we saw chinks in the armor. He began the regular season with some fantastic-looking performances. By season's end and at certain junctures of the playoff run, there was more than one occasion in which Slay looked like he could have used a few days off.
We mentioned that confidence earlier. That's one of the things that we love about him. Some would say that, at times, it even borders on arrogance, that Slay isn't one that takes criticism well. Regarless of where you stand on that argument here's what we know. The greats rise when their mettle is tested. We're about to learn a lot about Number 2. Don't look now, but a very popular radio show named our guy in, shall we say a less-than-flattering fashion.
The Best Show Ever? names Eagles star Darius Slay as one of seven Philly sports stars who are still 'unproven'.
Here's an interesting read if you have a moment. 97.5 The Fanatic's The Best Show Ever? and Dylan MacKinnon recently penned their take on seven Philadelphia sports stars who have proven themselves and seven who haven’t. Jalen Hurts, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, DeVonta Smith, and A.J. Brown all landed in the 'proven' tier. The only other Eagles starter that was mentioned was Darius Slay. He earned a not-so-favorable review.
"We all love Slay. Him coming back, is a good thing. Between him and James Bradberry, they were one of the best, if not the best, cornerback tandem in the league. But the defense is a big reason why they lost the Super Bowl. In fact, it is the reason they lost. And Slay was getting picked on a little bit. You could say the same about James Bradberry, but Slay is the one who is the team leader and the most recognizable face on the defense. The defense needs to be better next time. Starting with him."- The Best Show Ever? and Dylan MacKinnon
Sure, none of this will have any bearing on the coming season, Stories like these are meant to create conversation, but we're honestly of the opinion that, by sharing this and theories like it, there's a chance that 'Big Play' will see one or two of them, fire himself up, and tap into that killer instinct that comes with being a competitor. There's nothing like a little bulletin board material, right?
Again, no one can deny that Slay wasn't as impressive down the stretch last season as he was at the beginning of the regular season, but he knows that. He's a professional. We expect his best effort in 2023 and a few fireworks as we move through the regular season.
One glance at the resume belonging to Darius Slay makes something very clear very quickly. If he adds a couple more Pro Bowl seasons, maybe another All-Pro nod, and a Super Bowl win, we might have to have some serious Pro Football Hall of Fame discussions.
Consecutive Pro Bowl nominations following the 2021 and 2022 seasons give Darius Slay five during the first ten seasons of his NFL career. He's still one of the best at his position, even now. Good things are coming from him and the rest of Philly's defense.