The Detroit Lions have ushered in some major changes ahead of the 2021 season, and for veteran players, such events can usually go one of two ways.
Some players go through the motions and struggle to process the change, while others are able to use the fresh start to their benefit. Clearly, that’s the camp that linebacker Jamie Collins belongs in as another new season gets set to begin.
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Meeting with the media on Thursday, August 5, Collins admitted that he is having fun in addition to feeling good after changing his body around and losing some weight. He also likes what the change in philosophy has helped bring out himself and the team.
“I’m having fun and I’m feeling good too. I’m feeling pretty good. I lost some weight. So, I’m definitely out here having some fun and enjoying every minute of it,” Collins told the media, while admitting he had slimmed down a bit to 250 pounds.
In terms of the new staff, Collins said he and others have appreciated the clean slate with which they’re operating with at this point in time and the hands-on nature of the coaches.
“They’re very hands-on. I’m not going to say it’s simple, because nothing is simple. But you know, guys get it. Guys understand it’s a fresh start. Every time you get a fresh start, that’s when guys start to lock in even more,” Collins said. “I just feel like the fresh start is what helps a lot. When it’s a new beginning man, it’s only right to dive right in. Just hone in, and that’s what we’re doing. Like I said, it’s all clicking together, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
After a season in which Collins had 101 tackles and just 1 sack to go with 1 interception, the team would be very excited to hear that he is motivated to perhaps turn over a new leaf.
Jamie Collins: Competition High With Lions Linebackers
The Lions are trying to get more out of a rejuvenated linebacker group, and according to Collins, the competition there is helping to keep himself and others fresh and motivated as they learn the defense and get ready for a new season on the field.
“Our room, the competition level is so high. So the competitive nature in me to just, do as best as I can and try to keep up with these guys. I’m the old guy in the room now, I’m not the young guy anymore. So it’s fun though like I said. It’s not easy. It’s definitely a task and I am always up for a great task.”
The Lions have added a lot to the linebacker room in the form of names like Derrick Barnes as well as Alex Anzalone, and specifically, Collins likes having Anzalone as a resource to help push him as well as grow within his new defense.
“Alex (Anzalone) is a good long, tall linebacker. And he’s smart. He was a part of this defense, and that’s good too, to have somebody who was always a part of something before. He’s the brains, he knows his stuff and I’m trying to keep up with him. That goes back to the competition. I’m trying catch him as far as the brain part of the defense. It is what it is, we hold each other accountable. If on of us slip up, we got to take care of each other. Alex and the rest of the guys in the linebacker room, the competition level in that room is so high. That’s where the fun comes in. We aren’t out here just lounging man, this stuff is hard. So we got to make it fun and compete. Once you are competing internally, you want to be the best. It’s all about who’s the best out here. That’s what we strive is to be the best individually and high-five guys along the way. It’s not a beat down, we’re always picking each other up, but we want to know who the best is.”
Detroit’s defense is hoping for a big season, and if that is to be the case, the veteran leadership of both Collins and Anzalone driving a hungry group could be a big reason for success.
Collins’ NFL Stats and Highlights
Obviously, Collins has the chops to pull off a major career resurgence given all he has done in the league. Collins has been a solid performer in the NFL for years. He started with the New England Patriots where he got to know former Lions coach Matt Patricia, and later was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a few seasons before he got released and signed back in New England. After that, he signed in Detroit. Prior to the Lions, Collins had racked up 577 tackles, 24.5 sacks and registered 16 forced fumbles as well as 10 interceptions. Last season in Detroit, Collins had 101 tackles, 1 interception and 1 sack.
In terms of edge rush ability, Collins has always possessed that as this highlight shows:
The Lions will want to see more of this in 2021, and that is the version of Collins they are hoping to inspire for next season. So far, so good as it relates to that.