Darius Slay Reveals How He Was Able to Shut Down Top Receiver in the NFL

October 05, 2022

Athlete Studio

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay has started out his 2022 season playing at an All-Pro level. Through three complete games Slay has eight tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions, which is tied for most on the team. He has been a leader on the defensive side for the Eagles this year, a team that is still undefeated at 4-0, allowing the third least amount of opponent yards per game at 277.3. 

The biggest test of Slay’s skill this season came in week two against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have one of the best up-and-coming receivers in the NFL in Justin Jefferson who put up nine catches for almost 200 yards in week one. In this matchup, Slay allowed only two receptions all night, and finished the game with two interceptions, both of which came while guarding Justin Jefferson. 

Slay says that one of the largest contributing factors in advancing the level of his play, and being able to shut down some of the top receivers in the NFL, is his passion for watching film. On the “All Things Covered” podcast hosted by Bryant McFadden and Patrick Peterson, one of the things Slay said he studied when preparing for the Vikings and Jefferson was the receiver's release. 

"What I watched on film and what I watch how his release is ... that's why I made the plays I did."

Slay mentions that through watching a lot of film, he is able to find what players like to do and what their tendencies are, using this knowledge to his advantage when playing against them. He went into detail about this when talking about his matchup with the superstar Vikings wide receiver.

“When you're a young and talented guy, man, you think everything works. I've played this game so long -- I know what you're gonna do. I know your tendencies, I know what you like the most," Slay said. "He had a lot of tales for me to steal on film. Young guys don't see, but I see that because I like to watch film a lot. Every tale I did was truthful." 

"The first pass breakup I had, it made me confirm that's what he does. That early? It's gonna be a long night for anybody. No matter what type of talent you have or how much better you feel like you are than me, that means I really got your tale on what you do.”

Article By: Thomas Becker

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