Lions can rely on the experience of Bush, Quin and others over final stretch

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Reggie Bush and Glover Quin have the kind of veteran leadership and playoff experience the Lions are hoping will help then down the stretch run

Reggie Bush and Glover Quin signed with the Detroit Lions this offseason because they believed they were the missing pieces to get the Lions into the playoffs.

They both signed on the dotted line with the idea they’d be playing meaningful football games in December.

Glover Quin and Chris HoustonSafety Glover Quin and CB Chris Houston (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

Well, they don’t get anymore meaningful for Detroit than their final three games this season, starting with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.

This isn’t a position the Lions have been in a whole lot over the last decade, which makes the experience of players like Bush, Quin and some of the other veterans so much more valuable.

"Our playoffs start this week," Bush said. "It doesn’t start in three weeks, it starts right now."

The Lions had to win football games down the stretch to get into the playoffs in 2011, and some young players gained valuable experience from that, but Bush is one of only two players on the roster with a Super Bowl ring (Dylan Gandy is the other). Quin has played four playoffs games the last two seasons. There's a lot of experience to lean on there.

"I don’t know if they’re leaning on me more, but I’ve definitely been asked about similar situations and just being able to make that next step, going to the next level," Bush said of conversations he’s had with teammates.

"I don’t try to force my past on anybody, whether I’m winning a Super Bowl or anything like that. If I’m asked, I try to give my two cents here and there, but I don’t try to force anything on anybody."

So what are teammates asking?

"Just about what it takes to get to the next level, winning a Super Bowl, that focus that we need to have," Bush said. "We’re in a good spot right now. We have a really good team. You see when we get out of our own way, we can be a really great team. We just have to remember that, remember that we’re a great team and we’ll be fine."

Quin made the playoffs and won a playoff game with the Texans in both 2011 and 2012. He said the position the Lions have put themselves in, however, could actually be advantageous.

"To be where we are right now with three games left, in first place, controlling our own destiny, what more can you ask for?" Quin said. "It’s a good situation to be in.

"I’ve been in situations at this point in the season where we’d already clinched (a playoff spot) and the natural tendency is for focus to go down. It’s the holiday season and you’re just trying to be healthy."

Quin says this team isn’t in a position to lose focus or get complacent, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing for a relatively young team without a lot of playoff experience.

"We have to fight every week," he said. "We have no other choice but to win.

"We win all these three and we’re on a good roll going into the playoffs. I think that will serve us well."