Aug 30, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Jordan Thompson (10) is hit by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) as he tries to catch a pass in the fourth quarter of the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
1st Down: How To Utilize Landon Collins
One of the things that really irks me is when people refer to Collins as an in the box safety. Surely that is where his strengths lie, but he is more than that. Collins has cover skills and the athletic ability to play well outside of the tackle box. This part of his game will take some time to develop, but he has the potential to be the most dynamic and versatile defensive back in the National Football League.
At first the Giants need to allow Collins to do what he does best. Just like you don’t throw a young child in the deep end of the swimming pool to teach them to swim, you don’t put too much on Collins to teach him how to play the NFL game. Collins will be in attack mode, whether it is routes coming over the middle of the field or a running back with the football, Collins will attack. Collins is a physical player who will bring toughness to the defense. Against the run Collins is like an extra linebacker, against the pass he is someone who will bust plays up.
One idea I love is using Collins as an inverted safety. Having Collins creep up to the line of scrimmage on occasion, making the quarterback and offensive tackle guess what he is doing. He could blitz, he could play coverage, and he will certainly threaten the rushing attack. You could even drop the defensive end in a fire zone, and have Collins blitz. The moral of the story is that Collins could be used as a tool to mess with the mind of the quarterback.
Collins has so much potential and it is so exciting that he is bringing this potential to the Giants. Collins will grow into a versatile player and a leader for the defense. At first his game will be one-dimensional as he adjusts to the NFL game. If the Giants allow Collins to attack the football, he will shine in his rookie season.
Next: 2nd Down: Is Geremy Davis A Diamond In The Rough?