Lions player on trying to cover the Steelers' Antonio Brown: 'He tried to kill me, man'
Detroit's Darius Slay faces off against Pittsburgh's dynamic receiver and the results aren't pretty
The Lions and Steelers held their first of several joint practices on Tuesday, ahead of Friday's Week 1 preseason matchup. Joint practices allow players to work against someone other than teammates, and for Lions cornerback Darius Slay, that meant facing off against Antonio Brown, one of the NFL's best wide receivers.
According to the real-time Twitter reactions -- and later, the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett's retelling of events -- Slay was no match for Brown. During one-on-one drills, the Pro Bowler beat the fourth-year corner on three straight times.
Antonio Brown beats Darius Slay for a long TD in one-on-ones at Steelers/Lions dual practice. Crowd goes wild
-- Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 9, 2016
Antonio Brown catches another loooong TD pass on Lions' Darius Slay. And then Brown says to him, "That's two."
-- Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 9, 2016
"Oh man, the first one I said I expected that for the crowd, that was cool," Slay said, via the Free Press.
"But three of them in a row I was like, 'Oh my goodness, I'm already fitting to die here.' Like, 'Come on, you're going to run another deep route?' He said, 'I'm going deep all day, Slay.' I said, 'No you cannot. I'm not fixing to go with you more today. Not today.' .
"He tried to kill me, man."
LATROBE, Pa.-Darius Slay, Antonio Brown prepare to duel. This is why teams love co-practices. pic.twitter.com/OAJIpEgcxc
-- Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 9, 2016
By the time Brown made his way to the sidelines, he could be overheard telling a teammate, "I'm killing him."
Slay didn't really disagree.
"It's a big measuring stick," Slay said of trying to cover Brown. "Just a different type of guy and just go make the plays. That's it. I just got to make more plays. I made a couple today, I just need to make more."
To be fair, it's hard to prepare for Antonio Brown because no one else can do what he does.
"I've never seen that kind of guy in my division," Slay explained. "Nobody that, I don't know how tall is -- 5-9, that guy that's just shifty and can make big-time plays. It's a new little look, but I'm prepared for it."
Perhaps "preparing for it" is more accurate. And, for the record, Brown is officially listed as 5 foot, 10 inches. Either way, Lions coach Jim Caldwell agreed with Slay.
"(Brown) presents a very, very unusual challenge for him because he's a guy that's fast, that's quick," he said. "He's an extremely smart guy just in terms of understanding how he disrupts the coverage techniques of defenders. But I think that happened to us all the way across the board."
Just imagine how much more dangerous the Steelers' receivers corps would be if Martavis Bryant hadn't been suspended for the season after violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
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