McQuarters Making Presence Felt Early

During a five-year stint in Chicago, athletic cornerback R.W. McQuarters started 47 of 72 games, recording nine interceptions and five touchdowns (three defensive, two punt returns). After just two days of camp, he's already living up to his versatile disposition.

All the Lions-related chatter during the off-season generally revolved around one thing: young talent. Coupled with potential, the "youth" movement in the Motor City has garnered more publicity than the city's own controversial mayorial race. Perhaps with good cause.

But it also overshadowed a significant acquisition the ball club made late in the off-season; the signing of defensive back -- and quasi-utility man -- R.W. McQuarters.

Entering his eighth pro season with his third ball club, McQuarters entered Detroit with the league-wide reputation of willing to do anything on the field. In Chicago, he returned punts and spent time at cornerback and, albeit sparingly, free safety as well.

During a five-year stint in Chicago, the athletic McQuarters started 47 of 72 games, recording nine interceptions and five touchdowns (three defensive, two punt returns).

After just two days of camp, he's already living up to his versatile disposition.

Since Friday's initial session, McQuarters has produced a veteran presence in the defensive backfield, but has also spotted as the team's primary reserve punt returner. With penciled in starter Eddie Drummond still in a holdout status, McQuarters is filling the void. He has even been considered as a kick returner.

"I really like having him here," said Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci. "He is a versatile veteran player and he can play corner on either side. He played safety last year; he can go inside and play nickel when we go to our nickel and dime groups; he can play inside or outside; he can be a punt return man; he can cover kicks and I like his approach.

"He has been starting for a long time in the league and he needs to earn himself some playing time here - which he is doing very well and very professionally. We love having the guy."

And they should. Drafted in the first-round in 1998, McQuarters spent his first three professional seasons in San Francisco under Mariucci. After joining Chicago in 1991, he spent time under then-Bears' head coach and current Lions' defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.

With that said, the Lions are brimming with talent in the secondary. With the addition of rookie Stanley Wilson to a group of reserves that include second-year cornerback Keith Smith and fourth-year covermen Chris Cash and Andre Goodman, depth isn't a concern. But not many have the ability to play each position.

"He is a smart enough guy to play several different spots," Mariucci said. "Not a lot of guys in this league have played cornerback, safety and nickel. Those are different skills and different physical requirements and he has a chance to do all of those."

Lions Report Top Stories