OXNARD, Calif. — Going into his 12th season in the NFL, it's fair to say that two-time All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore has a book of knowledge that's thickness could rival the stiffest of Harvard textbooks.
That knowledge, paired with his continued strong coverage skills on the outside, made him a huge addition to not only the field, but the locker room as well. Sharing that wealth of knowledge is not something that he gate-keeps. Instead, he sees it as his professional duty to make everyone around him better.
"I feel like the guys ahead of me did the same thing," Gilmore said. "It's my due diligence to pass what I know down, because hopefully they do that for the next generation. Anything to help the team get to where we want to be in the future, I'll do what it takes to help out."
If Gilmore is the teacher, Trevon Diggs has arguably been his best student as the two have spent a lot of time together both around Oxnard and on the field to help boost each other's respective games. It's something that, for Gilmore, allows him to be a more complete version of himself as a cornerback.
"Any time I line up and see Tre on the other side, it allows me to lock in even more because I know he'll hold it down and I'll do my part," he said. "I think we're just gonna push each other. He's a great player and he's been playing great his whole career, and I've been playing great my whole career. I think we need to push each other each and every day and be hard on each other."
While that knowledge does include helping Trevon Diggs and his fellow defensive backs, CeeDee Lamb told the media last week that Gilmore has also helped improve his game from across the line by calling out his routes sometimes before the ball is even snapped.
"Covering those guys, we know what works against us," Gilmore said. "I'm trying to teach him as much as I can as far as what to do to get us going. CeeDee is a great receiver and we push each other every day."
From on the field tips to shining light on his mostly fish and chicken diet off of it, Gilmore prides himself on not only being patient in coverage, but also being patient off the field in letting the "little things" create the complete version of who he is and his teammates around him.
"Leodis McKelvin, Devin McCourty, guys like that taught me the game, taught me how to be a pro and take care of my body," he said. "I just think it's the little things each and every day."