Glover Quin is a player that feels like he is a part of the DNA of the Detroit Lions. The safety has been roaming in the team’s defensive backfield since 2013 and has been on the short list of consistent things the team could depend on over the years.
He entered the 2018 season with 19 interceptions in his first five years in Detroit. He took a huge step back last season, though. Quin did not intercept a single pass and set a career low with only three passes defended.
His regression did not only just show on the stat sheet. When watching Quin play it is very clear he is not the player that he once was.
The main reason for this sudden regression is that his speed has clearly lost a step. Quin was never a speed demon by any means, but in 2018, he could not keep up with anyone. He looked like he did not even belong on the same field as the other players at times.
This became apparent when Quin was forced to play man coverage. Even when lined up against tight ends or running backs, who conventionally are not as skilled or fast at route running as wide receivers, he has trouble keeping up. He did not have the quickness to mirror them as they broke on their routes and did not have the speed to recover once he was behind a step.
On this play against the Miami Dolphins, he never really stood a chance:
Once the receiver across from him broke inside he was beaten. Brock Osweiler did not have to do much to get his man the ball with decent running room after the catch for a good pick up.
Quin’s athletic deterioration also hurts him when playing deep zone coverage. He excelled as a center fielder over the middle and was often a nuisance for opposing quarterbacks in previous years. While it does not seem that his coverage instincts have gone anywhere, his ability to react has slowed down.
In previous years, Quin would be in position to get to tight end George Kittle right at the point of the catch. As his quickness has deteriorated, he has trouble getting into the place that he needs to be.
His lack of athletic ability really shows when he trying to cover the run. Quin is often one of the last lines of defense to cover long runs. Early in the season, when the Lions front seven was as leaky as ever, he was the team’s last chance to stop a long touchdown on some plays.
When he was called upon to be the last line of run defense, he often failed:
While Quin cannot athletically keep up, he is not a total disaster. As mentioned earlier, his coverage instincts still seem to be intact. He is a high football IQ player that rarely puts himself in a bad situation. Unlike his teammates Teez Tabor and Tavon Wilson, Quin knows where he has to be to make a play, just usually cannot get there in time.
He also does an adequate job as a box safety. While he’s not the hard-hitting run defender that Quandre Diggs is, he can usually cover a short distance and hold a spot. When he is on the back line in coverage he can occasionally make a good read to cut off passing lanes and force the quarterback into something shorter.
Quin’s availability is also a huge tally in his favor. The safety has yet to miss a single game since he came to Detroit in 2013. He missed one game as a rookie in 2009 and has not missed a single game since. No matter what has happened over the years, Detroit could depend on Quin being available for them.
Does Quin have a future in Detroit?
The Lions can save $8 million and eat only $1.6 million in dead cap by moving on from their long-time safety. With the emergence of players like Diggs and 2018 third-round pick Tracy Walker, there may be better options than Quin going forward in Detroit. Quin is an ideal cap casualty candidate.
Detroit may want to restructure his deal rather than letting him go, though. Quin has been a leader in the Lions locker room over the years, and his presence could help the development of Walker. He would play limited snaps next season if the team restructures him, but he is the type of player that you would want on a team undergoing a partial rebuild.
It is possible that the team would sign him to a cheap two-year deal or maybe even a potential release-and-re-sign scenario.
At age 33, Quin also may just retire, which would make the decision for the team.
What should the Lions do with Glover Quin
This poll is closed
Restructure his contract
Let him retire