Jamie Collins is hoping to expand his positional repertoire in his first full season with the Cleveland Browns.
The outside linebacker, who was traded from the New England Patriots to the Browns last October, apparently has been pestering new Cleveland defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to try him out in the secondary.
“He’s begging me to play free safety, and I’m not saying he couldn’t be the best one out there right now,” Williams told reporters Thursday, via Cleveland.com. “If he wants to play defensive end, he could play defensive end. There are a lot of things about his versatility that it’s going to be fun and challenging to find spots to cut him loose and let him go.”
Listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Collins is far heavier than your typical NFL defensive back, but he’s an athletic freak and did play safety early in his college career at Southern Miss. He’s also very good in pass coverage against most players not named Owen Daniels.
Collins played well enough post-trade to earn himself a four-year, $50 million contract extension, and he reportedly is in the midst of a highly impressive spring.
From Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com:
In OTAs and minicamp, Collins ran around like a kid still playing for the Franklin County Bulldogs. He swatted down passes, got a pick-six off DeShone Kizer, made numerous “tackles” on the non-contact practice and a few would-be sacks. The player who came in last year after the trade from New England and mostly put his head down and went to work is now often seen throwing it back and laughing.
That’s promising news for a Browns team that struggled in pretty much every facet of the game last season en route to a 1-15 finish.
“I can’t shut him up now,” Williams told reporters. “He’s in the meeting and he acts and he talks … and he loves the banter of competition. Everybody in the building is shocked about that. I’m not.”
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images