The Detroit Lions saw plenty of struggles this week at linebacker, and a veteran player might be set to take the brunt of that frustration as the team looks to improve at the spot.
After a game on Monday Night Football in which Jamie Collins was the subject of much frustration for the team, it was revealed this week that the Lions could now be looking to deal Collins away and go younger at the position, likely in the form of Derrick Barnes, who coaches admit they’re impressed with.
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The news was first revealed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who posted about the possibility of the Lions exploring a Collins trade on the night of Wednesday, September 22.
Obviously, the Lions are committing to a youth movement across the roster, and it makes sense that linebacker would be a big spot they target for a change. Collins struggled in Detroit’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, and Dan Campbell referenced those struggles after the game, pointing out the way Collins moves is “a little different.”
Clearly, the Lions could be looking for a way out with Collins at this point after a tough start to the season, and could look to pull the training wheels off Barnes quickly if they move him.
Jamie Collins Seemed to Fit Within Detroit’s Defense
The tough start to the season is a disappointing development for Collins and the Lions after the season started with much promise. 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.”
It’s safe to say things have not clicked as hoped early on in the new season for Collins within the team’s new defense.
Collins’ NFL Stats and Highlights
Obviously, it’s hard to blame the Lions for thinking that Collins had 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:
If the Lions can get a middle round pick for Collins at this point, it would have to be considered a win for the team given their desire to move on.
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