Snapchat is a wonderful thing. Aside from the dirty things those dang kids use it for these days, it can actually provide a unique insight into the lives of people we don’t know personally. It can also be a good news source, as we learned when we saw Eric Ebron in a joyous mood on Snapchat, suggesting (accurately) that his injury wasn’t as serious as originally reported.
This time, Snapchat has provided us with a unique look inside of camp. Yesterday, reports out of camp were that Darius Slay was torched on several consecutive plays against All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown. However, thanks to Slay’s Snapchat account (bigplayslay23), we can actually see video of the plays in which he was ‘burned’.
Editor’s note: Out of respect to the Detroit Lions and their strict training camp rules, we will not be posting the direct video from Slay’s snapchat. However to get an idea of what happened, we’ll post a few screenshots. If you want to watch the video, rush over to Slay’s Snapchat before the video is taken down.
Slay posted video of five different matchups with Brown. The fifth one is a bit blurry and hard to tell what’s going on, so let’s ignore. If I had to give Slay a record against Brown in the other four plays, it would be two wins, one loss and one draw.
In the first go route, Slay openly admits in the video, “he got me on the first route.” And while it’s true Brown did get the separation he needed at the end, Slay was still in pretty solid coverage.
Slay did give Brown a little too much room on the sideline and the pass was perfectly thrown, but when you’re going up against the best receiver in the league, this is still pretty solid coverage. Still, Brown wins that one.
The second play was another go route, and this time Slay was right there. Media reported this as a drop from Brown, but the video almost looks like this was a pass breakup from Slay. It’s hard to tell what exactly happened, but Slay was in position and the pass was incomplete. That’s a win for Slay.
The third matchup was another completed bomb to Brown, but there’s a caveat.
Brown goes over top of Slay for another TD. Slay to the ref, with a smile - 'he's giving me the shoulder everytime." then Brown comes over..— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 9, 2016
Slay complained immediately to the ref about pass interference, and the video shows he’s absolutely right.
As you can see, Slay is in good coverage initially. You can also see Brown’s arm resting on Slay’s shoulder as they both turn for the ball.
Next thing you know, Antonio Brown has a good cushion between him and Slay and makes the easy grab. Slay admittedly had trouble finding the ball when turning his head, but this is undoubtedly pass interference and the ref missed it. Still, since Slay lost track of the ball, we’ll call it a draw.
In the final matchup, the ball was not thrown to Brown, and that was because Slay was blanketing the receiver:
As Brown cuts over the middle, you can hardly see two players there. Slay is all over Brown and the quarterback is forced to look elsewhere. Advantage: Slay.
So, don’t always trust camp reports blindly. Things happen very fast, and even if there are multiple people on the ground reporting the same thing, they don’t always have the best viewing angle and they don’t have the benefit of replay.
This is also a good chance to remind you all that we have a master list of Lions social media accounts. If you want to catch video like this, I highly suggest following as many players as possible.
UPDATE: 7 p.m. ET - Darius Slay has deleted all of his recent snapchats that included video from practice. Snapchats from the exact same time period that had no practice video remain up, suggesting those specific snapchats were deleted.