Darius Slay has big plans for his return to Detroit this weekend.
Aside from the relationships he built in the city during his seven years playing for the Lions, the 30-year-old cornerback also developed an affinity for fried chicken from his favorite spot.
So as soon as the Eagles land in Detroit, Slay plans on hopping in an Uber and heading to Captain Jay’s Fish & Chicken, a popular chain in Michigan.
“They got this little stuff they call crack — it’s not actually crack — but it’s called like crack,” Slay said. “It’s sugar, lemon pepper and salt that’s in a can and you pour it on your chicken, get a little spice to it and pour some hot sauce on it with some fries, then you throw the crack on the fries. … Oh it’s crazy.”
As far as the actual matchup against the Lions, Slay previously said doesn’t care about it as much about it now that former head coach Matt Patricia is gone — he and Patricia … didn’t get along. But Slay still has love for the Lions organization and the fans in Detroit.
But playing in Detroit for the bulk of his career, has Slay feeling overlooked.
Despite the three Pro Bowls under his belt, Slay still feels like he’s an underrated corner in the NFL.
“Yeah, that’s for sure,” Slay said on Wednesday. “I feel like a lot of stuff comes with popularity, who the media likes the most, who the media talks about the most. But if you look at my film, I’ve been doing in and out, I’ve been doing everything I need to do. I’ve been in a defense where man was every play, no help, doing what I had to do, locking up guys. Being in a zone defense and man defense, getting all the picks.
“I’ve done everything that a corner needs to do and I’ve been doing it at a long time. A lot of coaches pay attention to it. I get a lot of respect after the games when I go to coaches, talk to them. It’s the outworld, the fans, the media that just don’t know what’s going on because I’m not on TV a lot.”
Maybe Slay doesn’t get the recognition among fans that he wants or feels like he deserves. But fellow coaches and players seem to understand his worth, which led to this somewhat comical answer from fellow starting cornerback Steve Nelson.
“Slay being an underrated corner?” Nelson said. “Man, everybody know Big Play Slay. But that’s just that chip that you always have to have on your shoulder.”
Still, Slay probably thought getting traded to Philadelphia last season would help his visibility on a national level. After all, the Eagles were just a few years removed from their Super Bowl win and seemingly had a ton of stability.
Since he’s arrived in Philadelphia, the Eagles went 4-11-1, fired their coach, traded their quarterback and the new staff has them off to a stumbling 2-5 record this year. This isn’t exactly what Slay signed up for and if it takes nationally televised games to help with recognition, the Eagles have already played their two primetime games this season.
“Shoot, I just control what I can control honestly,” Slay said. “It’s a team sport. I’m one guy. I can’t change the whole narrative, the whole team. But I will do whatever I can do to help us get to that situation. All I can do is just keep going out there, work hard every day, help the guys that’s underneath me, help them get better.
“That’s the goal man. I’m all about winning. But at the end of the day, I’m all about helping people too. I just want the best for everybody on this team.”
What’s best for the team on Saturday might be hopping in an Uber with Slay to go get some chicken. As Slay passed Javon Hargrave on Wednesday, he asked him if he knew about Captain Jay’s and Hargrave said he didn’t.
“I’ma show ya,” Slay said.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: