The Detroit Lions featured one of the worst cornerback corps in the NFL last year.

Yet they did not add a starting-caliber cornerback in free agency, and waited until the third day of the NFL draft to select a defensive back of any kind.

While Detroit's willingness to stand pat has frustrated some, it also seems to be an expression of faith in Darius Slay. He is considered a forerunner to start as soon as this season, with Chris Houston's future unknown due to continued toe problems and Rashean Mathis reaching his mid-30s.

And Slay intends to make the most of his opportunity.

After enduring some rookie growing pains last season, Slay set out to Pleasonton, Calif., this offseason to spend a few days living with Rod Woodson. Yes, that Rod Woodson.

The Hall of Fame cornerback poured over film from each of Slay's games last year, then spent several days giving Slay notes and working his game.

"His big slogan now is everything is getting too technical," Slay said. "He said back in his days, you'd just line up across from a guy and played ball. He says nowadays, they teach ya to do this, or do that, to be correct.

"He says to go out there and just play ball. So he wasn't teaching me technique so much as he was teaching me concepts, my tackling angles and stuff like that."

Those lessons seem to be paying off. Slay was among the most impressive players during OTAs on Wednesday, which were open to the media.

He was burned a couple times by Calvin Johnson, but otherwise was sticky in coverage against just about everyone else. He was particularly impressive on one deep pass intended for Kevin Ogletree in the end zone.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was forced to go long because Slay was in lock-step with Ogletree and the ball was uncatchable through the back of the end zone.