Ravens coach John Harbaugh, left, wanted to draft Glover Quin; Texans coach Gary Kubiak, right, beat him to it. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Phoenix — The Baltimore Ravens didn't have a fourth-round pick in 2009, something coach John Harbaugh still regrets.
He and his staff were in the room that day hoping a cornerback named Glover Quin would somehow slide out of that round.
"We liked him," Harbaugh said Tuesday during the NFL league meetings. "We really had great interest in him and we'd hoped he'd be where we could take him. But he went where he was supposed to."
Quin, who switched to safety during his four seasons in Houston, posted five tackles and an interception last season in helping the Texans rout the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens.
Harbaugh will have to contend with Quin again this season. Quin signed a five-year, $23.5 million contract with the Lions, who just happen to be on the Ravens schedule this year.
"He's a football player," Harbaugh said. "People say, 'What does that mean, he's a football player?' He is the epitome of a football player. He's real smart, really tough, he understands coverages, he's always in the right spot and he's a playmaker.
"I think they got a great player."
Texans coach Gary Kubiak agreed.
"I am not surprised (the Lions went after him so hard)," he said. "He had a tremendous year. He's durable, accountable; he is a guy who will be there every day."
Quin is a rare commodity. He's a built like safety, hits like a safety, but he covers like a cornerback.
"He keeps you from going nickel a lot of times," Kubiak said. "It's a big thing to get a guy like that to come down and cover wideouts. It keeps you out of the nickel, but at the same time, he plays the nickel. He does a little bit of everything."
Quin should be a good complement to Louis Delmas, who thrives closer to the line of scrimmage. The Lions have long sought a cover safety to play alongside Delmas (see: Amari Spievey, Sean Jones, Don Carey among others).
"If those guys stay healthy, they can be a real nice combination for us," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said.
Harbaugh and other AFC coaches Tuesday were also impressed with the Lions' acquisition of running back Reggie Bush — but not for the obvious reasons. Coaches talked as much about his professionalism and leadership as they did about his explosiveness as a runner and pass catcher.
"I like his professionalism," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "I think sometimes people may have certain perceptions about who Reggie is. But he was a guy who came into the building and worked hard every day. Being on the team was important to him. I just thought he was a pro."
Asked about the void Bush is leaving in Miami, Philbin talked about losing another member of his prized leadership council. He lost all three members — Bush, Jake Long and Carlos Dansby.
"You're always worried about team chemistry and leadership, and that's a process that continually has to evolve with your football team," Philbin said. "Certainly, you're always concerned about the leadership and direction of your football team. We think we have some excellent leaders on the football team. It's part of our job to cultivate that atmosphere of entitling players, and empowering players, to lead the football team and give direction."
Bush comes to a team in Detroit hungry for new leadership in the locker room.
"He certainly fits the mold that we're talking about," Mayhew said. "All those guys that we signed in free agency do. They all bring that to the table as leaders. One of the impressive things about Reggie, he was all football. He was all football and that's what we talked about.
"Even after he signed his contract, one of the first things he said is, 'Where can I get a playbook?' That was his thing. Immediately, I mean the ink wasn't even dry on it and he wanted to find out where he could get a playbook because he was ready to get going."