Where will versatile defensive back Quandre Diggs line up for the Detroit Lions' defense this year?
“I don’t know,” Diggs said Thursday. “I’m just here to play football.”
Diggs was the Lions’ starting nickel cornerback last season before making the switch to free safety to fill in for the injured Tavon Wilson at the end of the year. Diggs played well at safety, opening up the possibility that maybe the Lions could keep him there in 2018.
“You all got to know me, I don’t care where I play,” Diggs said. “I just want to line up and compete and have fun. That’s the most important thing right now."
What last year showed was that Diggs has a lot of versatility to his game, which is something that certainly fits with what new head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn like from their players. They value versatility and toughness, two things Diggs has plenty of.
Diggs reminded the gathered media asking about where he might play in September that it was currently May 3, and players are just trying to learn Patricia's defense and improve their craft at this point. He said everything will work itself out in time in terms of where he might line up and how he fits.
“We’re just trying to learn the defense as a whole and no matter what position I play, I learn everything,” Diggs said. “I’ve been like that since I’ve gotten here. I like to learn corner, nickel, safety, dime. I like to learn it all.
“I just like to play ball and go out and compete and wherever they put me every week I’m going to compete and I’m going to do my best to win that matchup.”
Detroit’s secondary has a number of versatile players like Diggs, and might be the most talented and deep unit on that side of the ball. The Lions return all five starters, counting Diggs in the nickel, and also return second-year cornerbacks Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew, who could compete for bigger roles. The team also signed veteran cornerback DeShawn Shead and drafted safety Tracy Walker in the third round.
There’s expected to be a lot of competition for starting roles, playing time and roster spots in the back end of the defense this offseason and into training camp.
“We have a lot of competitors,” Diggs said of the current group of defensive backs. “I love the group. We’re always a close knit group. It’s been like that since I’ve gotten here. We expect to keep that. We have a standard and that’s the standard we’re going to continue to uphold.
“We’re going to compete against each other each and every day, go out and have fun and then go out and have dinner with each other once a week.”
Diggs is certainly the kind of player who goes with the flow and doesn’t get too worried about things he can’t control. He says he’s “an old soul,” and has always had that kind of personality, but he also takes a cue from the leader in the Lions’ secondary room – veteran Glover Quin.
“We got one of the best leaders in football in 27 (Quin) in our room. You can’t do anything but try and mimic what he does. He’s a professional each and every day. We just try and learn from him each and every day and continue to try and mock his demeanor.
“I’m always like this but GQ has definitely rubbed off on me a lot. You never need to get too high or too low. Just go with what flows.”
Diggs showed last year he’s a pretty complete football player that can wear a number of different hats if asked to do so. He’s a tough, hard-nosed football player.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Patricia and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni use Diggs, or if he’ll be a matchup piece they move around.
Diggs doesn’t seem to mind either way.
“I feel comfortable everywhere,” Diggs said. “I’m a football player.”