Fair or not, Landon Collins has had to bear the brunt of the blame for the Giants’ Week 10 defeat to the Patriots. With under two minutes to go, the rookie safety out of Alabama was unable to wrangle in a surefire interception which allowed the Pats to keep possession and eventually score the game-winning field goal. It was the first time Collins was in a game-ending position and promised not to repeat the mistake, especially because of the sleepless nights that followed.
“Yeah, it was definitely hard because I don’t do that," noted Collins. "I killed myself when I went home, I just couldn’t take it, but I’m just ready to get back on the field and just keep it going and prove myself.”
“It took a couple of days. I got over it, but I mean just to feel that I let the team down is always in the back of your mind.”
The Giants return to action this Sunday against Washington, giving Collins the chance to play on the same turf as his hero, the late Sean Taylor. Taylor is the reason Collins chose the number 21 and believes the best way to honor the deceased great is to go hard on every play.
“All the time, that’s every game, every game, especially playing on his field and his turf," noted Collins. "That’s definitely one of the keys for myself, for me to go to that field and do the same thing he did.”
Perhaps with the playoffs in mind, Tom Coughlin and the coaches have seemingly decreased Collins’ snap count. They are most likely trying to avoid unnecessary injury risks while also allowing others to get used to the position just in case something does happen to their starter
The move has not perturbed Collins who understands how long a season can be and the concurrent need to remain fresh and limber.
Coughlin had earlier discussed Collins’ tendency to come towards the line of scrimmage, something the player himself hadn’t realized.
“I don’t notice that," said Collins. "If he notices that, then that’s something that I have to work on but when I watch my film study, watch myself play, my first steps are always backwards because that’s what they’re preaching and we rep every day. I kind of tuned it in my mind to go backwards before coming forward.”
Ten games into his pro career and the 21 year old acknowledged that there is still room for improvement. While game-speed doesn’t worry him, Collins does believe he can do better when it comes to film study as well as formation recognition.
“You can say it’s harder than it sounds, but once you get used to it and continue to constantly do it, it gets easier day by day.”