Some of the greatest paintings of all time are misunderstood by the regular person, while they’re praised by another who takes their time to observe and understand the art itself. They feel for it. It becomes more than just an acquired taste, instead, it evolves into a way of life.
That’s what the Eagles have at the moment. They made a big splash in trading for former Lions cornerback Darius Slay, taking him out of a situation that could’ve been detrimental to who he is as a person. There have been reports that Slay was more than just disrespected by Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia. Slay was pretty much bullied by a pencil wearing man who feels untouchable because of his current position.
Now Slay has landed in a locker room that is feeling the void of former safety Malcolm Jenkins. A locker room who stood by the standard and followed the lead of the former All-Pro Safety. He’ll be tasked to lead a position group that’s full of players that are no older than 25 years old with the exception of Rodney McLeod.
Mike Kaye of NJ.com recently sat down with two former teammates of Darius Slay and they had this to say of him:
“Every one of his teammates is going to love him for sure, no doubt about it. I think one thing that he does bring is he is going to bring that positive energy to the room, even when [expletive] is dark in the room if you know what I mean. When it’s down or rough times or whatever, Slay in that room or in that atmosphere is going to put a smile on your face. That’s the type of person he is, the type of character he is.
“He’s definitely going to be a great teammate. All of his teammates are going to gravitate towards him because he’s always pushing out information, always trying to help. He cares a lot about his teammates. He’s a very selfless, selfless guy, so he will do certain things for you and you’d expect him to ask for money for it or whatever, but he does a lot. – CB Nevin Lawson
“I was only with him for a year, but he’s an awesome dude. He would fit into any locker room. He’s just that kind of personality. That kind of guy. Philly is going to be the perfect fit for him, just knowing some of the guys still in Philly’s locker room and the way he is. It’s going to be good for him. He’s a cool dude.” – LB Paul Worrilow
Why is this so important? Well for one, Malcolm Jenkins was as competitive as they come but Jenkins held himself to a different standard than most which led to him being such a tremendous leader. Malcolm was a serious person with little toleration for anyone who didn’t play at his level. Which is great, that’s what you want but that doesn’t mesh with the young players of this generation. At least the ones in the Eagles Secondary.
Jalen Mills has his swagger, Maddox has the energy, and as for Jones and Douglas, they both still have the time to be molded into great players. That’s where Slay comes in. Slay is described to be a caretaker, a player with a contagious energy. CB Nevin Lawson went on to tell Mike Kaye about his fondest memories of Darius Slay and stated that “To be honest, I’d say his energy to just uplift his teammates to match his level of play.
That’s exactly what the Eagles have been missing. They need a leader who is one of them instead of above them. That’s why the trade for Darius Slay was a necessity not a luxury. He fills a need in a shutdown corner and also a void left by Malcolm Jenkins.
While the jury will still be out on how he affects the young corners until the season arrives, one thing is for sure. The Eagles made the right move at the right time, something that hasn’t been done since 2017.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports