By: Will Burchfield
If Pro Bowl voting is any indication, Darius Slay has had no trouble breaking into the NFL’s public consciousness this season. But Glover Quin remains on the periphery.
Slay is third among cornerbacks in the current polls, while Quin isn’t even among the top 10 free safeties. Both players have had terrific seasons, but only one has gained national recognition.
“I don’t know,” said Quin. “I got off social media, so I don’t promote myself, put myself out there. I feel like people have their favorites and that’s how the fans vote. I think players understand and coaches understand, they know, but I think people have their favorites. And I don’t really talk about myself. I just go out and play. At the end of the day, look at the numbers and you guys be the judge.”
Quin ranks among the top players at his position in nearly every relevant statistical category. He has three interceptions, including a pick six, three forced fumbles and 65 tackles. Pro Football Focus grades him as the fifth best safety in the league. He’s well ahead of such household names as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Eric Weddle and Tyrann Mathieu in this department, but well behind them in Pro Bowl voting.
If this bothers Quin slightly, he understands it’s the nature of the beast.
“I’ve never gotten voted in by the fans,” Quin said. “Even when I made the Pro Bowl (in 2014) I was like tenth in fan voting, and I led the league in picks.”
Pro Bowl spots are chosen by the fans, the coaches and the players themselves, with each group counting for one third of the ballot. In terms of fan voting, well-known players from big markets are at a distinct advantage. As Quin pointed out, the Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor currently ranks first among strong safeties despite going down with a season-ending injury in mid-November.
“He hasn’t even hardly played all year. Kam Chancellor? I mean, he’s a good football player,” said Quin, “but he didn’t have a Pro Bowl year. But he’s leading the fan vote.”
If it helps to play for a large fan base, so is it important to self-promote. Just look at Slay. Does he deserve to be in this year’s Pro Bowl? 100 percent. Would he be on track to get there without constantly lobbying for himself on Twitter? It’s hard to say. It wasn’t until his campaign caught on nationally that he rose up the leaderboards.
But Quin’s a quieter person by nature. He got off Twitter, Facebook and Instagram earlier this season to devote more attention to football and his family. He felt like social media was taking up too much of his time.
His low-key ways might subdue his national reputation, but locally Quin has always been appreciated.
“I still get love from the Houston fans, and I’ve been gone from there for five years. I get a lot of love from the Detroit fans,” said Quin. “The places that I play, they understand who I am and how I play.”
Plus, with all due respect to the fans, it’s the other two voting bodies that matter to Quin.
“I look at the Pro Bowl as more of a respect from players and coaches,” he said.