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Quinn: 'Killebrew's a safety, first and foremost'

Rookie Miles Killebrew found a niche and carved out a role as an extra safety in Teryl Austin's three-safety dime package last season as a rookie.

Killebrew (6-2, 222) has both terrific size and speed for the position, and he proved a year ago he could be a reliable cover man and a sure tackler. He finished with 28 tackles – a ton of which came on third down – and had one interception and a pass defended.

Some fans have wondered if Killebrew could potentially transition to linebacker with the depth at that position lacking at this point in the offseason. When asked about that possibility at the league meetings last week, Quinn said he sees Killebrew remaining at safety moving forward.

"He's a safety, first and foremost," Quinn said. "I mean, you can call him what you want to call him. You can call him a dime linebacker, you can call him ... there's different terms. You know, he can play down near the box because of his size, but he's a safety."

The Lions return starting safeties Glover Quin (free) and Tavon Wilson (strong). Killebrew will certainly look to push Wilson for a starting role at the strong safety spot, but at the very least he proved last year he can have role in Austin's defense as a versatile safety that can wear many hats.

Coming from a small school in Southern Utah, Killebrew had a lot to learn when he got to Detroit. He put in the work, and got better as the year progressed. Now he's another one of those young Lions players to watch this offseason.

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