A couple months ago, a recently-released Glover Quin said he felt he passed the torch onto Quandre Diggs.
“I used to tell Quandre all the time, ‘Quandre, you’re going to be me when I leave,” Quin said on The Pride Podcast back in February.
The Detroit Lions safety seems to be taking that to heart, as Diggs took the podium on Tuesday afternoon. Entering his fifth year in the NFL, Diggs is ready to assume a leadership role in Quin’s absence but he knows he won’t be able to do it alone.
“I think it’s a collective effort,” Diggs said. “Will guys will lean on me a bit little more? Of course.”
But if you expect Diggs to be there in the middle of the huddle screaming at the guys to get their head on straight, you’re going to be disappointed. He admits he’s more of a lead-by-example type of guy.
“I’m a leader,” Diggs said. “But at the end of the day, when it comes down to it on Sundays and when it’s time to go practice, I’m going to strap those things up and you can follow my lead if you want, but I’m not a rah-rah type of guy.”
Part of Diggs’ motivation comes from his own upbringing in the NFL. Surrounded by veterans like Glover Quin, Rashean Mathis, and James Ihedigbo, he saw first-hand the kind of impact sharing from experience can make on a youngster.
“I was fortunate to have great vets when I was here that taught me so much about the game that’s helped me become the player that I am,” Diggs said. “Me being able to do that for those young guys, that’s going to be huge. That’s my responsibility, though. You never want to cheat the game in no way. I want to give the game everything, I want to give those guys everything and just let them know that I’m here for them.”
Looking around the locker room, Diggs stands out amid a gaggle of young players in the secondary eager to learn. From second-year safety Tracy Walker, to rookies Amani Oruwariye and Will Harris, to free agent additions Andrew Adams (26) and Justin Coleman (26), all have a great opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of a defensive back who has done it the right way all over the formation. While Diggs himself is far from an aged veteran—he’s just 26 himself—the fact that he’s ready to take on that leadership role explains why Detroit gave the former sixth-round pick a three-year extension last year.