The Detroit Lions may have released Chris Houston back in June, but they will have a No. 23 lining up at cornerback this year. No, Houston isn't back or anything like that. Instead, Houston's old number has been taken over by Darius Slay, who used to be No. 30.
Slay said he switched to No. 23 for Joe Haden, LeBron and Jordan. Asked Houston for the number, but Houston said he'd worn it as a kid.— Carlos Monarrez (@cmonarrez) August 7, 2014
The fact that Slay asked a veteran for his number is pretty funny -- I would have loved to have listened to that conversation -- but it was actually no slam dunk that No. 23 was going to him even after Houston was released. According to Jim Caldwell, Slay was just one of many who wanted to switch to that number.
Jim Caldwell said Slay had to earn No. 23. Lots of players wanted the number. #Lions— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) August 7, 2014
Let's hope Slay plays more like Joe Haden than Chris Houston in his new jersey. He is expected to be one of the Lions' top cornerbacks this year, and they need him to take a big step forward in his second season in the NFL.
Slay will have his first real chance to show what kind of progress he's made on Saturday when Haden and the Cleveland Browns come to town for the Lions' preseason opener.