LIONS INSIDER

Glover Quin: Interceptions will take Slay's game to next level

Posted May 23, 2016

According to safety Glover Quin, more interceptions will lead to more recognition for cornerback Darius Slay.

Darius Slay had a breakout third season for the Detroit Lions in 2015, becoming the team's clear-cut top cornerback and finishing second in Pro Football Focus’ season-ending grading at the position. That’s holding company with the likes of Tyrann Mathieu, Chris Harris Jr., Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Josh Norman, according to the website.

Teammate Glover Quin called Slay a “Top 10” cornerback in the league at last week’s Taste of the Lions event at Ford Field, but said his game is missing just one element to take him to stardom.

“The thing about Slay is he’s a great, great, great player and everyone is going to say from now to the end of time, ‘He’s a great, great, great cover guy,’” Quin said.

“The only thing that he can do to take it to the next level is intercept the ball. That’s it. That’s the only thing – if you look at his game and his stats – the only thing you can say is, ‘Well, he doesn’t have that many interceptions.’ That’s really all.”

Quin is speaking some truth. Just look at some of the interception totals for players like Mathieu, Sherman, Peterson and Norman, who are widely considered the best cornerbacks in the game today.

Mathieu was the top-ranked cover man by Pro Football Focus last year, and he also had five interceptions.

Sherman had back-to-back eight interception seasons in 2012 and 2013, which coincided with his emergence as one of the best in the game.

Peterson had seven interceptions in his second season in the league in 2012 to catapult him among the elite at the position.

Norman picked off four passes on his way to an All-Pro season in 2015.

Slay has defended 30 passes the last two years, but has two interceptions in each of the last two seasons. His two picks last year were tied for the 48th most in the league.

“That’s the only knock you can say, which isn’t even a knock if you look at the film and you look at his play,” Quin said. “But if you want to make an argument, you would say, ‘Well, he doesn’t have as many interceptions as this guy.”

Interceptions can come in bunches, as Quin knows better than anyone. He led the NFL in the category in 2014 with seven, and was tops among Lions last year with four.

Quin’s hopeful Slay’s rise to wider recognized elite status will coincide with Slay adding more interceptions to his total.

He even joked that Slay could have his hands when he's done playing.