New York Giants: Landon Collins uses Earl Thomas as motivation
New York Giants safety Landon Collins is driven by a friendly competition with Seattle Seahawks superstar and potential Hall of Famer Earl Thomas.
The New York Giants have a rising superstar on the defensive end of the field in safety Landon Collins. Far removed from being labeled a potential draft bust, Collins combined the physicality of Troy Polamalu with the ball-hawking of Ed Reed in 2016.
As the NFL community looks for comparisons for the player Collins is becoming, he appears to have answered that question himself.
Collins finished the 2016 season with 125 tackles, five interceptions, 4.0 sacks, and a surplus of highlight-reel plays. That legendary production earned him a first team All-Pro selection and a first career Pro Bowl appearance.
According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s NFL Nation, Collins’ friendly rivalry with fellow superstar Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks is what drives him to achieve greatness.
"“It helps a lot because you know he’s going to bring his all each and every week,” Collins said. “So I have to bring my all because if I’m a step behind, he has that advantage on me. Can’t let that happen.”"
One can only hope that the rivalry between Collins and Thomas will continue to grow, and thus, continue to motivate New York’s franchise player.
Thomas is one of the most decorated players in the history of the two safety positions. He’s a Super Bowl champion, a five-time Pro Bowlers, a four-time first team All-Pro honoree, and a one-time second team All-Pro selection.
The working theory is that Thomas would have added to his phenomenal resume had he not been injured after 11 games in 2016.
If Collins can even come close to matching the sustained contributions that Thomas has provided, the Giants will be in a better place.
In 2016, Collins ranked two spots ahead of Thomas on the NFL’s Top 100. That’s an early leg up in the friendly rivalry, but the Giants will need him to continue to develop and progress, and avoid becoming complacent.
The question is: Can Collins continue his ascension up the rankings of the best players and safeties in the NFL?
Must Read: Eli Manning has never played with this many playmakers
The New York Giants will be counting on that development in 2017.