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O'HARA: Quin quick to adapt, learn and lead others

Glover Quin sounds like he's doing the voice work for an insurance commercial when he talks about the experiences that let him adapt to changes and remain a leader in the Detroit Lions' secondary.

Quin faces a new set of challenges in his 10th pro training camp and sixth with the Detroit Lions Friday.

With a new head coach in Matt Patricia and a new defensive system, Quin is one of the leaders in the transition from the system the Lions ran the previous four years under former head coach Jim Caldwell and his staff.

He counted off the coaching changes he has experienced in his career with the Texans and Lions – now up to four head coaches and five coordinators – to show he learned to adapt and adjust and lead others.

As a Pro Bowl free safety with a richly earned reputation for being one of the smartest players in the league at his position, Quin is like an air traffic controller in the Lions' secondary. He doesn't want any missed connections.

"With your experience, you've seen a lot, you've heard a lot, you've done a lot," Quin said after Friday's opening training camp practice presented by Rocket Mortgage.

"You can recognize things and be able to break it down and put it in a language where people can understand you. Sometimes you've got to make it connect, so when you get out there it makes sense.

"I've seen it all – a lot of it. I've been around a lot of it. I've been in a lot of different systems."

Patricia spoke Friday about how he appreciated having a veteran like Quin who can help speed up the learning curve of installing a new system.

"He's a great football player and has an unbelievable skillset and is a very smart football player," Patricia said. "It's exciting to have him here with the team."

Patricia and his staff have inherited a secondary that has been the strength of the defense for the last couple seasons. There is talent and depth throughout the unit – cornerbacks, safeties and role players in the key positions of nickel and dime backs.

The Lions had 32 takeaways last season, third most in the NFL behind only the Baltimore Ravens (34) and Jacksonville Jaguars (33).

The secondary accounted for 16 of the 19 interceptions. Cornerback Darius Slay had eight interceptions, tying him for the league lead as he made his first Pro Bowl. Quin had three to go with four forced fumbles and one recovery.

Quin led the league with seven interceptions in 2014 and made the Pro Bowl. Having two Pro Bowl players in the secondary – Slay and Quin – should indicate the strength of the unit. But Quin insists it doesn't guarantee anything for the future.

"None of that stuff matters if we don't come out here and compete every day," Quin said. "You've got guys who have done it, but in this league it's about doing it every day -- doing it again.

"I used to tell people the hardest thing in this league to do is to do it again. You do it one year, cool. Can you come back and do it again? Can you come out here and have another day – a good day?

"The biggest thing about defense is, you've got to know what you're doing so well that you don't have to think about it. So many times people get so caught up thinking about their job that they miss the small clues that the offense gives you about what they're doing."

On the occasions he reflects on his career, and how he has endured and thrived from his first training camp with the Texans to No. 10 with the Lions, Quin appreciates what he has accomplished and how he has done it.

"Sometimes, I have to sit back and just think about it, that it's a blessing for me," Quin said. "It's something I don't take for granted. I want to approach Year 10 like Year 1 – try to earn my spot, try to earn my keep, do my job and be a leader.

"The things I've done my whole career, I want to do it again."

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