Darius Slay knows now he wasn’t just pulled for a pinch-hitter. For the time being he has been replaced at right cornerback by veteran Rashean Mathis.

“I took it serious but I just took it as I need to learn more and get better every day” Slay said Tuesday. “That was it. Just watch ’Shean and get better.”

After last weekend’s game Lions coach Jim Schwartz said he was concerned the elaborate game plan needed to combat the complex Redskins option attack might have been too much for a rookie corner playing his third game.

“Rashean (Mathis) came in this game and played well made some plays for us but that doesn’t shake the confidence we have in Slay” Schwartz said Monday. “We think he is going to be a really good player.”

Slay has remained confident and upbeat. He is as you would expect for a man who has been a father since he was 15 years old mature beyond his 22 years. He has overcome much tougher obstacles than an early-season benching.

“I think it’s just built in me to be like that” he said. “I can’t really explain it because I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’ve had a lot of adversity. There’s always a time you hit the bottom but there always a time you can rise. I am just waiting for my time to come and I am going to take advantage of it.”

As for this being rock-bottom for Slay? Not even close.

“I don’t feel like I am at the bottom now” he said. “I’m in the two percent of the (players who get to the) NFL; ain’t too many people been here. What I’m going to do is just go get better.”

Schwartz won’t confirm Mathis will continue to start at right corner.

“I’ll keep those cards close to our vest” he said. “There is no sense giving anybody any kind of an idea who’s going to be lined up out there. It makes it good for you guys to know but the Bears would also know.”
Punchy Bears

In two losses to the Bears last season the Lions turned the ball over eight times six on fumbles and two on interceptions. So quarterback Matthew Stafford wasn’t surprised to see them force five turnovers Sunday against the Steelers.

“They’re a physical football team” he said. “They’re getting turnovers off interceptions. They’re getting turnovers off forced fumbles. I think they lead the league with six. They teach it. They practice it. They preach it. They’re punching the ball out.

“(Cornerback Charles) Tillman wears the double wrist braces and just goes in there swinging and tries to knock the ball out. He does a great job. He’s a great player. ... That’s what they do they try to force turnovers with physical and smart play.”

Since the start of 2012 the Bears have 12 touchdowns on defense (10 interceptions two fumbles) most in the league.