By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Almost inevitably, when the topic of leadership comes up in the Detroit Lions locker room, so does the name of safety Glover Quin.
Everyone appreciate Quin’s professionalism and veteran presence, but fellow safety Louis Delmas might value him more than anyone. Head coach Jim Schwartz said the stability Quin brings at safety is a luxury Delmas has not had until now.
“Having consistency next to him is something we really weren’t able to do, and probably the first four years of his career he had a revolving door at safety next to him and was really never able to get comfortable playing beside another player,” Schwartz said. “We haven’t always been on the practice field together, even going back to OTAs and training camp, but we’ve managed to keep that group together on the field on Sundays, and I think that’s gone a long way to helping us defensively.”
Not only has the addition of Quin vastly improved the quality of the secondary as a whole, it has also freed up Delmas to concentrate on his assignments.
“You can see Lou probably played some of his better games this year,” defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. “He’s not gambling as much, he’s playing the system better, and he knows he’s got a guy on the other side.
“It’s funny – we practice sometimes, and there’s a blitz designed for Lou, and he tells Q to take it just to get a rep out in case anything happens,” Cunningham added. “Those are the things you look for as a coach, and the communication between them is outstanding.”
Delmas characterizes Quin as a great fit for the defense and a guy who rarely makes mistakes. Unlike the younger, less experienced safeties Delmas had on the field with him in years past, Quin can do his job without Delmas’ help.
“Having him here allows me to go out there and have fun and not worry about anything else but my job because I know when he’s out there, he’s handling things, he’s making his checks as I’m making my checks, and I don’t have to worry about looking to the side of me and making checks for everybody,” Delmas said. “He knows the defense in and out, and he does a great job with it.”
As much as he means to the Lions on the field, he also contributes away from it. By Delmas’ estimation, Quin’s personality is as important a factor as his style of play.
“His ego and the way he carries himself on and off the field is definitely what we needed here as far as leadership-wise,” Delmas said. “I’m pretty sure this whole team appreciates him just as much as I do.”
Finally working with a safety of comparable ability and experience, Delmas looks forward to how much the revamped secondary can contribute and how far it can take the Lions.
“We’re one of the top teams in third down defense, and I think he has a lot to do with it,” Delmas said. “His communication, his way of reading the ball, reading his keys and reading the man. He definitely made a lot of plays for us, and I can’t wait to see what the end result holds for us as far as playoffs and anything like that.”