Collins Getting More Comfortable

Guard Calvin Collins, an early-season pickup, is getting more playing time recently, with injuries to Corbin Lacina and Brad Badger, and the former Falcon is getting more comfortable with line coach Mike Tice's system.

Offensive lineman Calvin Collins, who was signed by the Vikings in mid-October, said he is starting to feel comfortable in the team's system. The bye week certainly did not hurt.

"It's not really that bad," he said of the transition. "It's just learning the terminology. Once I get the terminology down, football is football. I just have to know the names for what (plays) the Vikings call.

"You have to learn the nuances, certain little things that it takes to help the line be a cohesive unit. That's what I'm still learning now, trying to get those down."

Collins, 28, who is expected to start for an injured Corbin Lacina Monday night, gives the Vikings more versatility along the line. He played for Atlanta from 1997 to 2000 and started at center, left guard and right guard during that time.

Collins, who is 6-foot-2, 310 pounds, saw action in the Vikings' loss at Tampa Bay when right guard David Dixon was injured.

"Calvin brings some tenacity," said Dean Dalton, assistant offensive line coach. "He brings some veteran experience. He is a very aggressive guy. With some of our technique, especially in the pass protection areas, he's overaggressive and we are trying to reign him in a little bit so he can do his assignments in protection.

"But he brings a toughness, some veteran experience. He's been in the fight and played in the Super Bowl. The guy has done some great things in his career and has better years ahead of him, especially with the way we play football. He can hone himself into our system and become an excellent football player. But right now he just adds veteran depth and veteran tenacity."

Collins, in his fifth season, said it did not take him much time to come to Minnesota once the Vikings called. "I had heard from other teams, but I had not heard from the Vikings," he said. "But when they called, they said they wanted me up here. Look at this team, you have people like Cris Carter, Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss. It's an honor to play with guys like that. That, in itself, is a good enough reason to come."

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