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O'HARA: Quin seeing '180' culture shift with Lions

Playing deep in the secondary gives safety Glover Quin a vantage point on everything that happens in front of him in the Detroit Lions' defense. There isn't much that doesn't catch his eye.

The position has given Quin a comfort level that he's been able to share with teammates in the four years he has been his unit's quarterback and guiding hand.

Quin's experience lets him broaden his overall view beyond the field to provide a wide perspective on how things have changed since he signed with the Lions as a high-value free agent in 2013.

View photos of Detroit Lions players arriving at the team's practice facility for the start of 2017 training camp.

As Quin begins training camp in his fifth season as a Lion – and his ninth in the NFL after playing his first four seasons with the Houston Texans – he can reflect on a seismic culture shift that makes the Lions of 2017 unrecognizable compared to the Lions of 2013.

As is the case every season, there have been numerous player personnel changes on defense from a year ago, from drafting Jarrad Davis in the first round as starting middle linebacker to signing veteran free agents to add depth across the board.

But nothing has been more striking for Quin than the change in culture.

What seemed like a throwaway question asked Saturday on reporting day for veterans provoked a detailed, passionate response from Quin that touched on everything from changing attitudes of the players to renovations of Ford Field and the Allen Park facility that directly impact the players.

"Oh, man – it's a complete 180 from the first day I got here until now," Quin said. "The culture around the team, the attitude around the team, the vibe around the team – totally different. Guys are totally different. Put it like that.

"We've got a great group, and it starts at the top. Everything feels so different from when I first got here. They've done a lot of things around the building, with making it high, high class. Just top notch, from facilities to the practice field to everything we do.

"The players can see that, and we feed on that – understand that they're investing a lot in us. We're trying to come through and take care of our end on the field."

Before Quin got to Detroit, the underground buzz was that the team was undisciplined on and off the field. That was carried out in 2013, when the Lions collapsed from a 6-3 start to finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs. The Lions did everything but buy snowplows to clear a path for the Green Bay Packers to win the division with a mediocre record of 8-7-1.

When Jim Caldwell was hired as head coach in 2014, the low-key image he projects in public did not match the respect he commands in the locker room, and his demand for professionalism.

"When I first got here, Detroit was kind of known as undisciplined," Quin said. "A lot of personal foul penalties. A lot of getting in trouble. You could see that in the way they played.

"Detroit had a ton of first-rounders, a ton of talented players. Why can't they win? If you watched them play, they had a big lead and gave up big plays in the secondary being undisciplined, making mistakes here and there.

"I feel like, when you're undisciplined off the field it kind of leads in turn to on the field. You have to get the right group of guys in, the right system in place. Coach Caldwell has come in and done a great job."

There is still work to do, even though the Lions have made the playoffs twice as a wild card in Caldwell's three seasons as head coach. They were 11-5 in 2014 and 9-7 last year.

Quin likes the overall makeup of the 2017 team going into camp. He is especially high on Davis.

"I like playing with him," Davis said. "He's all football. He's very serious. He takes his job very seriously. He wants to be great. You can see it by the way he asks questions, by the way he works – the way he studies.

"He's going to be a great addition for us. Obviously, there are a lot of things you've got to learn. That's to be expected. With his size, with his speed, with his instincts, with his physicality, he'll be able to help us in the middle.

"I think he'll make a lot of plays for us. I'm excited to play alongside him, watch him grow. I'm also excited to help him in any way I can."

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