Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Jamie Collins made his Browns debut. It was unknown what Collins role would be after joining the team midweek, but defensive coordinator Ray Horton made Collins the centerpiece of the defense using him inside on early running downs and using him as a pass rusher on passing downs.
Collins recorded eight tackles, one for loss and one quarterback hit. Collins had moments where he showcased his elite playmaking potential. However, the Dallas offense did a great job of adjusting to Collins early in the game and began to run away from him on the weak side of the formations.
Collins wasn’t perfect as he was out of position on a touchdown he gave up to tight end Jason Witten. The play was a blown coverage by Collins, where it looked like he thought he had safety help over the top. The miscommunication resulted in a touchdown, but expect a more confident player after another week in the Browns defensive scheme.
“He looked really good blitzing at times, got some pressure every now and then,” Jackson said on Monday. “Obviously, he got an opportunity to play with his new teammates and did some good things. There are some things that he is going to learn more about our system as he moves forward.”
Despite a blown coverage and trying to learn on the fly in his first week with the team, Collins was by far the most talented defender on the field for the Browns. The Pro Bowl linebacker showed his natural ability to fight through blockers and have a nose for the ball carrier.
Although he was known as more of a traditional linebacker for New England, Collins showed his speed and athleticism to rush off the edge and give the defense a true threat on the edge. In his second game with the Browns, expect Collins to play more aggressive and loosely.
With another week of learning and studying within the defense, Collins will have the freedom to reign and make plays all over the field for the defense.