Saturday, July 27, 2013
Collins embraces his versatility
By Field Yates
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots have long sought players with positional versatility, and if the first two days of training camp are any indication, top draft choice Jamie Collins is the type of player that fits that mold.
The 23-year-old met with the media for the first time during training camp on Saturday and expressed that he's ready to embrace whatever role the team carves out for him.
"Whatever I'm asked to do, I'm going to do it," he said. "That's the kind of player I am, regardless of what happens."
We've seen Collins work defensively at linebacker, and he also appears to be capable of playing as an edge setter and pass rusher. He's also earned reps on special teams, an area his frame, speed and length should lend themselves well to.
"I came here for a reason, to play," Collins said. "That's what I'm going to do. What's best for the team, that's what I'm here for."
Learning the playbook as a rookie, especially one who may have multiple position responsibilities, would seem like a chore, but Collins said he's comfortable with his progress. "It's complicated, but you get your head in the playbook, it's not too hard," he said.
He's also relying on several veterans as mentors throughout the early stages of his career, mentioning linebackers Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes and Dont'a Higthower, as well as second-year player Chandler Jones.
"That's a guy that I like talking to," Collins said of Jones. "He [taught] me a few things, and I listen and like I said, he's another that I look up to, even though it's his second year. Whoever it is, I'm listening to."
We'll likely learn more about Collins' duties when the Patriots put the pads on, which happens Sunday.
That's something the rookie is relishing.
"That's the fun part, hitting people," he said. "That's what we're here to do, hit people."