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Eagles CB Darius Slay wants 'the game on me'

The Philadelphia Eagles needed to find a cover corner this offseason who could help lock down opponents' No. 1 target. They acquired that man with a trade for Darius Slay.

The new Eagles corner is ready for the opportunity to travel and take on foes' top receiver if that's what the coaches ask.

"I love the challenge," Slay said in a conference call Thursday, via the Associated Press. "I kind of ask for it a lot because the fact that I want the game on me, and I want to help win the game, and if the best route to go about it is me traveling with a guy, then I'll do it. If the coach sees otherwise, if he says left or right, I'll want to do whatever to help the team win."

Under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, for whom Slay played in his rookie campaign in Detroit, the Eagles have played mostly zone, without a traveling corner who could match up one-on-one with an opponent's best. If Schwartz decides to play more man-to-man in 2020 after the Slay addition, the veteran corner invites that challenge.

"I can get up in a guy's face for the whole game," Slay said. "I can switch up my technique from off to press. I'm comfortable in anything I'm doing. I compete every play. I'm not scared. I'm not a cocky guy, just a confident guy. I feel like I just like to go play ball."

"I've been doing it the past four or five years," he added, "and I've been very, very successful at it. If they need me to continue to do it, that's what I'll continue to do."

The 29-year-old corner had a down season in 2019 by his standards, compiling 13 passes defended and two INTs. Pro Football Focus graded it Slay's worst season since his rookie campaign.

Several factors played into Slay's down year. The Lions had almost zero pass rush, seemingly allowing quarterbacks eons to pick apart the secondary. Not even the top corners can cover all day. Slay also dealt with a hamstring injury much of last season.

The veteran corner dismisses the notion he had a bad season.

"I had a great year, in my opinion," Slay said. "I think I played freaking fantastic. ... It was dang sure good enough to make a Pro Bowl third season in a row."

With a strong Eagles defensive line projected to batter quarterbacks, Slay could be in for a bounce-back season as the anchor of Philly's secondary.

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