PFF Stat Chat: Lions CB Darius Slay
Lions CB Darius Slay signed a four-year contract extension Friday morning worth $23 million guaranteed. We caught up with him after practice Friday in Allen Park, MI, to discuss his breakout season from 2015 which lead to his big payday.
Josh Liskiewitz: Darius, first of all, congratulations on your extension. Let’s start with asking you: which game do you believe was your highest graded game last year?
Darius Slay: Green Bay, the first one!
JL: You’re dead on.
DS: Yeah, easily! (laughing)
JL: When I watched that game I couldn’t help but think of your game against Green Bay in Week 3 of 2014, where you basically ran routes for Jordy Nelson all game. Obviously Jordy didn’t play last year, but what is it about playing Green Bay; is it something in their system, or the rivalry?
DS: No, there’s nothing about it, that’s a great team, a playoff team, and Jordy’s one of the top guys; I don’t know why everyone used to sleep on him, he’s one of the great deep threats. I just love competing, and focus on trying to out-compete the guy across from me.
JL: Excluding corners out of the slot, like the Tyrann Mathieus of the world, where do you think you ranked as far as our overall outside CB grades?
DS: (Pause) I feel like top 10, easily.
JL: How about number one?
DS: Number one? Man, let’s go! (laughing)
JL: One of the big improvements we saw this year was with your tackling and general play against the run. How many missed tackles do you think you had last year?
DS: Not many, I probably had like three or four.
JL: Yep, you had four.
DS: Yeah I was focused on that because I know that’s how big plays happen because if I miss a tackle I know he’s going a long way, so A-Dub (safeties coach Alan Williams) and T.O. (cornerbacks coach Tony Oden) had me work on that.
JL: Where do you think that ranked you in tackling efficiency?
DS: If that’s the case that I missed four, probably top one or two?
JL: You were fourth as far as corners, so you were way up there as well. I appreciate your time, man; I do have one more question for you. Real quick on the contract – 23 million fully guaranteed is the number that was reported, which is of course your jersey number. Did you think to ask your teammates hey, you have my number 49, I want that bigger guarantee?
DS: Awe, man, (laughing) 23’s my number but I wish I could, man!
[More: Be sure to check out analyst Gordon McGuinness’ report from Lions training camp.]