Two of the Eagles new secondary additions, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Darius Slay, spoke with reporters on Monday. They talked about their move to Philly, the secondary room, and this unique offseason.
On signing with the Eagles
He said that the Eagles kind of came out of nowhere this offseason, and weren’t in the initial group of teams that reached out with interest. But, when they did, the Eagles expressed how much they liked his style of play, and Howie Roseman was really enthusiastic about wanting to add Robey-Coleman and his skill set, more than any other team.
So, the corner went with the team that believed in him and his skills the most, over a team that might have offered the most money. So, when the Eagles expressed that much interest, it was a no-brainer for him to go to Philly with how much emotion they put into getting him signed. And after he signed, Robey-Coleman said it’s been all love, and he felt like an Eagle immediately.
On the secondary
Robey-Coleman said that Darius Slay is going to be an important and intricate part of the defense from a secondary standpoint. And, with Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills, he feels very comfortable playing inside or outside. To know he has great safeties, allows him to play aggressive because he can trust them on the back end.
There are a lot of new players in the secondary this season, but Coach Pederson has been harping on the fact that they’re all in this together, and that there’s no man left behind during this unique offseason. Now, they’re just working on learning each man’s preferences and how they like to work.
Robey-Coleman said that he leans on several of the guys who have been in Philly, especially Rodney McLeod, who he reaches out to with specific and more difficult — 3rd and 4th level — questions about the defense.
He said that having a new secondary coach is also a challenge, but they’ll need to be able to overcome that. Robey-Coleman said it’s important to have veterans who can adjust to that kind of situation — like himself, Darius Slay, Rodney McLeod, and Jalen Mills. They have guys who have gone far into the playoffs and into the Super Bowl, so it’s not like they have to learn everything, but rather learn the nuances of the defenses and how to take it to the next level.
On traveling with top receivers
Jim Schwartz said that Slay will match on occasion, and Slay said he’ll lineup and do whatever is asked of him.
He was later asked about having missed some tackles last season and how that might improve in a new environment — but, Slay was having none of it, and simply remarked, “I can tackle”.
Slay noted that they didn’t do much in terms of disguising his role in Detroit, every man call he was in the slot, and they did some zone coverage. He did learn a little nickel, and he’ll have to expand his game a bit more and get ready to play a little nickel this season in Philly.
The corner also said that they have a very versatile group of guys in the secondary, so as he has to move around to travel with receivers, his teammates will be able to move around as well.
On joining the Eagles
Slay said it’s been good to get around the guys and the group and not be around a computer. He noted that it’s a group of guys that love the game, and they’re just moving forward and getting better one day at a time.
Overall, he said the entire journey has been good. He knew some of the guys in the locker room already — Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox — and Slay said he enjoys new experiences and new things. He brings a new energy to the team, and he looks forward to being in Philly. Slay noted that he appreciates the organization believing in him and the guys accepting him in like a brother.
“What I love about this team, you can see that everybody is themselves.”
Slay said that he appreciates being treated as grown men, he likes that aspect, and it allows them to have a lot of fun.
- Slay loves walking by the Kobe Bryant mural everyday, and as a player in a professional game, he wants to approach the game like Bryant approached his.
- He said Jim Schwartz hasn’t really changed since he played under him years ago, and that he still loves attacking the quarterback and being aggressive.
- It’ll be “a shocker,” Slay said of playing without fans, and he might have to warm-up more than before or find a new way to energize before a game.
- Rasul Douglas is a hard worker, and Slay is willing to teach him everything he knows, and wants Douglas to be a sponge for that experience.