Glover Quin is a starting safety for the Detroit Lions, the number-one ranked defense in the NFL, but his interests extend beyond football into real estate, sneakers, and most importantly charity work.
In addition to work he does in support of Soles4Souls and the United Way, he is part of a program called Scoring for Good, which sends kids to Camp Kesem, a camp for kids whose parents are dealing with cancer. For every interception Quin catches this season, one kid is sent to camp.
“It’s incentive for me to catch more interceptions and for every one I get, one child gets to go to camp and have a good time,” Quin says. “So far I’ve been able to catch three, so I’m hoping for about five or six more.”
We talked with Quin about his different interests, how his preparation during the week helps him make big plays on Sundays, and how important it is to trust your coworkers.
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SB: Last year the Lions were in the middle of the pack in defense, but so far this year you guys are number one in the league. What has clicked this year to become the best in the league?
GQ: I would say trust. The defense as a whole trusts each other to do their jobs. That includes the coaching staff. We trust in the game plan. The coaches are trusting us as players, the players are trusting each other. Guys are going out understanding that they don’t have to do anything more than they are asked to do. I trust the next man to do their job, and when you do that you can focus on what you have to do and you can do your job to the best of your ability.
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SB: A couple of weeks ago you had a big interception that led to a victory for the Lions against Drew Brees and the Saints. On that play you switched roles with fellow safety James Ihedigbo, which led to the interception. Does trust come into play when you make a decision to switch up positions like that in a critical moment?
GQ: The coaching staff trusts us to go out and play on Sundays. Me and my partner James Ihedigbo , the team, and the defense understood what was supposed to be happening on that play. He trusted me, I trusted him, the coaches trusted us and we made an executive decision and it paid off and was good for us. It boils down to having that trust. He had to trust me to know I was going to do his job, I had to trust him so we could make the switch and our coaches have to trust us to make plays on Sundays.
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SB: As fans, we see the payoff of one big play like that, but how much preparation goes into making big plays?
GQ: You watch a lot of film. You do a whole bunch of studying. I watch film on my own and me and my partner James watch film together. Sometimes you see certain things because everybody sees things differently. Even if five people look out the window, people are going to see five different things happening out that same window. So, I look at things and see them a certain way. Somebody else is looking at things and sees them another way and we can get together and say ‘this is what they are trying to do. How can we combat that?’ So there’s a lot that goes into it, from weekly practices, to our coaches who have a game plan of what they want to do on Sundays. When you go through a practice, there are some things you like and other things you don’t. You can go to your coaches and say ‘I don’t really feel comfortable doing this, I feel more comfortable doing that.’ Having that trust with your coaches to be able to tell them how you feel and come to an agreement about what can be done and what can’t be done is important. We call it filling up our toolbox. Throughout the week we put a whole bunch of tools in our toolbox and on Sundays we have to pull out the right one in certain situations. Hopefully in crunch time we pull out the right one to get the job done.
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SB: You say you have around 150 pairs of shoes, so how have you turned your passion for shoes into positive work for the less fortunate?
GQ: The charity I’m involved in is called Soles4Souls. Since I love shoes so much I decided that I wanted to find a way to do something for people who are not as fortunate and don’t have shoes to wear. I teamed up with Soles4Souls and I did an autograph signing shoe drive where people had to bring a pair of shoes to donate to the charity. It was a great time. I’m going to do it again. I love shoes and I’m blessed and fortunate enough to get all the shoes I could ever want, but there are a lot of people out there that can’t afford to even wear shoes. To be able to bring attention to the fact that there are a lot of people out there that don’t have shoes is important.
I think everybody that buys shoes has a pair of shoes that they thought they liked, but they really don’t wear very much. Every year I go through my closet and get some of the shoes that I’m not wearing and I don’t see myself wearing for a long time and I give them away. My kids are learning to give early in life, too.
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SB: One of your other areas of interest is real estate, what got you interested in real estate and how do you plan to make it your career after you retire from the NFL?
GQ: I’ve always been fascinated by housing. I love houses. I love studying houses and seeing houses. I’ve been fascinated by it for a real long time. When I got to the NFL I knew I needed something to do in the offseason. I talked to people, including my sister, about selling houses. As a rookie [for the Houston Texans] I thought if I was a realtor and I could sell homes, I would have inside connections to the city of Houston because they would know me here when I’m done playing. Every year they are going to have draft picks coming into the city that need somewhere to stay, so they would need to find a realtor. Who better to help somebody out than somebody they trust, who used to play, who’s not trying to rip them off because I have my own money? It would be something to do for fun to help people out and have a hobby to do after I’m done playing. So I studied it and took some classes and starting thinking about investing in it, like flipping houses and buying rental properties. During the season I never think about it, but during the offseason I’ve got HGTV on all day watching all the shows about flipping properties. When I’m done playing it’s something I can do where I don’t have to work for anybody.