Lions' Quin builds resume on lasting impact, not titles
Allen Park — There’s a blank section on Lions safety Glover Quin’s resume.
Quin has accomplished plenty during his nine-year career. He’s led the league in interceptions, been named to a Pro Bowl and is the owner on an impressive ironman streak. He will start his 132nd straight game on Sunday against Green Bay Packers, the fourth-longest stretch among active players.
But for all the individual success, Quin has never won a championship. He didn’t win one at North Pike (Miss.) High School, didn’t net a Mountain West conference title his three years at the University of New Mexico and has yet to play in a Super Bowl during his professional career with the Houston Texans and Lions.
For some athletes, the quest for a ring is their driving motivation. There’s plenty of examples of players who have pushed for a trade to a contender, or taken less money at the end of their careers to pursue a championship in a reserve role.
That doesn’t appeal to Quin. He turns 32 in January, and even though he continues to play at the highest of levels, the end of his career is in sight. Even so, he’s not looking to desperately latch on to a Super Bowl-caliber team just to claim he’s been to the top of the mountain.
Quin is content to stick with the approach he’s always taken — being a foundation builder and a catalyst of change while hoping a title will come organically.
“Sometimes people have to take a challenge and do some things, make some moves,” Quin said. “And a lot of times, you may not see the benefit of it. But you get the organization headed in the right way, get the team headed in the right way. Then all of a sudden, it takes off.”
Quin arrived in Detroit in 2013, the same year as coach Jim Caldwell. The Lions were coming off a four-win season. Quin showcased his toughness almost immediately, suffering an ankle injury early in the season, but hiding his walking boot from the media and playing through the pain on Sundays until he could have it surgically repaired in the offseason.
The Lions drafted a pair of young corners in 2013, Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs. Quin has played an instrumental role in the development of both. This season, Slay leads the NFL in interceptions, while Diggs, who converted to safety midseason, has forced four turnovers in three games.
This is the legacy Quin is building. He’ll continue to give his all every game, but it’s the residual impact he’s setting up through his mentoring that is the validation of his career.
“You have some guys that work extremely hard and they never get (a championship),” he said. “I don’t feel there’s a hole in my resume. There are a lot of players that played a long time and never made the playoffs.
“At the end of the day, for me, when I look in the mirror when my career is all said and done, I’ll think about all the years I played football and all the things that I’ve done. Can I say I gave it everything I got? Can I say that I affected a lot of people, made a lot of change in a lot of the places that I played?
“Can I say I accomplished a lot of things? I can look in the mirror and say, ‘Yeah.’ Did I win a Super Bowl? I don’t know, but I can say that I was part of some things that were great.”
Packers at Lions
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit
Records: Lions 8-7, Packers 7-8
Line: Lions by 7