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Quandre Diggs Scoffs At Pressure From Rookies: "I Don't Believe In Heat"

By: Will Burchfield

Quandre Diggs doesn't want to hear it.

Quite frankly, he's heard it all before.

Sure, the Lions selected two cornerbacks in last month's draft in Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew. Sure, they added two more via the undrafted free agent market in Des Lawrence and Josh Thornton. And sure, they acquired a fifth through free agency in former first-round pick D.J. Hayden.

But Diggs, a cornerback himself, doesn't feel any less secure about his place on the team.

"They do the same thing in college every year, and I went to Texas, man. We get four- and five-star recruits every year. You just come in, you work (and) compete. I don't get too rattled by anything. I just gotta do what I do and go out and play my game," Diggs said.

His is a story of defying the odds. He was the 200th overall pick in the 2015 draft. He's undersized (5'9) for his position, doubly so for the NFL. His older brother, Quentin Jammer, went fifth overall in the 2002 draft and enjoyed a 12-year career, a standard to which Diggs, fair or not, is frequently compared.

So really, what's a new batch of competition at his position?

Why would he start feeling the heat now?

"I don't believe in heat. I've been doubted my whole life," Diggs said. "I have a brother that was the fifth pick in the draft, so everybody looked at me as the underdog. I just do what I do. I don't worry about what you guys say, I don't worry about what anybody say. I think my performance kind of speaks for itself. Those guys gotta come in and work just like I do."

Diggs played in all 16 games of his rookie season and played in the first 12 of last season before going down with a pectoral injury. He has 71 tackles, seven passes defended and two forced fumbles over his two-year career.

His injury last season reminded him not to take football for granted.

"It can be taken away quick so I'm just ready to get back after it, get back in the groove. It's been a while since I played ball. I just gotta get back in it and I'll be fine," he said.

Diggs' rehabilitation process is ongoing. Perhaps in tune with his story, and certainly in line with his character, he's finding it hard to do as he's told.

"I'm still working, but telling me to go half speed, that's just not me," he said. "So I'm just trying to get back to it and get back to being myself."

The more defiant, the better.

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