Darius Slay was an alternate for the Pro Bowl last season. The four players selected ahead of the Lions cornerback — Janoris Jenkins, Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman and Xavier Rhodes — all had more interceptions.
Slay had only two interceptions, just as he had the year before and the year before that. His rookie season, when he had no picks, was the only season Slay didn’t have two interceptions.
“When the opportunity presents itself, if it presents itself only five times a year, make those five,” Lions cornerbacks coach Tony Oden said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s doing a good job out here catching extra balls, so he’s doing his part. So those things will come. Those things will come.”
Slay’s forced turnovers did come at opportune times last season: He forced a Ryan Mathews fourth-quarter fumble that led to Matt Prater’s go-ahead field goal against the Eagles, and then intercepted Carson Wentz to ice it on the next series; he intercepted Sam Bradford with 30 seconds left on Thanksgiving to set up Prater’s game-winner against the Vikings.
Oden expects Slay to earn recognition among the best in the league at his position this season, but Slay likely needs more than two interceptions to get Pro Bowl honors.