S Landon Collins
June 14, 2017
Q: How do you think the defense looks as we stand here in mid-June?
A: It looks great to me. Weíve got all the guys back. All of the guys know what they are doing. Itís like second nature now. Itís just building, building on top and adding more to the defense so we can just confuse the offense when we play against them. Itís great.
Q: Your secondary, the pass defense got a lot of recognition last year. How much better can it be now that you guys are all together in that aspect?
A: It can be tremendously better. You are trying to be ranked up with Earl Thomas and them with the Broncos defense. You are trying to be out here and play with their secondary. The guys we have back there, and the chemistry that we have, and the respect we have for one another is unbelievable.
Q: I think you were ranked 28 in the NFL Networkís Top 100 player countdown. What was your reaction to that?
A: Itís a blessing. It definitely was a blessing. An opportunity to be on that. Itís a great opportunity to be on that, and Iím looking to be a little lower next time.
Q: When we talked to [Coach] David Merritt last week, he said that he talked to you about your potential being beyond All-Pro, that you could be one of the all time greats. What was that conversation like for you and how much did that mean to you to hear that?
A: It means a lot to me. Me and coach Merritt have talks all the time and he asked me what is my ultimate goal, and my ultimate goal is to wear that yellow jacket at the end of the day, that gold jacket. At the end of the day, at the end of my career, that is my goal and the work that I have to put in, and the chemistry that I have to have with my coaches and my guys, and the acknowledgement of what I have to put on the field, it has to be 10 and above. If not, I am not going to do that.
Q: You also said you have a lot to improve on from last year. When you look back at how well you played last year, do you nitpick and see what you need to improve on?
A: Yeah, I mean I looked at a lot of stuff that I could work on and I talked to coach Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] about different things and he asked me what I was going to work on in this offseason and I said the main thing I really wanted to work on was reading my keys and being able to recognize plays way faster than I did last year, and just muscling down. Things like that, and being able to run around the field and make plays that is the biggest thing and my biggest key.
Q: Did last year do a lot for your confidence?
A: Actually, my rookie year did a lot for my confidence and just building on top of that each and every year. I donít know what they expect this year, but you are going to see.
Q: He said that you played at like a 7 out of 10 last year and you could be like an 8 or 9. What out of 10 were you last year, in your mind?
A: My expectations, I want to be a 10. I work on being a 10 and I feel like I could be a little bit better. I would say I am a 7 too. There are a lot of things I could work on and I was nitpicking and watching my film myself, and watch my film by myself, there are a few things I know I could be better at myself and I am definitely going to work on it this year and this offseason.
Q: Statistically, you put up some huge numbers like tackles interceptions, and all that stuff across the board. How driven are you to have that not be your best season? For some people, that will be their best season.
A: I am very driven. I watch guys like Eric Berry, I watch guys like Earl Thomas, I watch guys like Kam Chancellor those guys have terrific seasons each and every year. They build on top of their great seasons that they have and their work ethic is phenomenal. Iím going to Earl Thomasí camp this upcoming week and we are definitely going to chop it up and stuff like that, so just the mindset that he has is different than anybody that I have talked to. The mindset I want to have is just like him. Youíve just got to do that.
Q: How have you and Earl Thomas gotten close?
A: Well we have the same agent so we kind of got introduced and from that point on we were. I went to his camp last year and the quote that I said on ESPN, I said that I wanted to go after Earl Thomas and I wanted to be in his spot. I only got that from Earl Thomas when I went to his camp last year it was me, Ha Ha [Clinton-Dix], and a couple of other safeties that were there. He was like, Ďwhich one of yíall are going toÖ Iím getting old but still Iím going to still give it my all. Which one of yíall going to take my spot?í I told him I was going to come and get it so that was my ultimate goal and just to strive from there now.
Q: How much does it help to have a personal relationship with him, someone who you want to take his spot?
A: It helps a lot because you know he is going to bring his each and every week so I have to bring my all and Iím a step behind. He has the advantage on me I canít let that happen.
Q: Is that a camp for kids or like he gets together with other NFL players?
A: Yes, itís a camp for kids.
Q: Landon, the defense was able to bring back pretty much all of itís starters from last season but you guys still have plenty of new names back there via rookies and free agency. Do you guys think you are gelling as a unit thus far, 2 days into minicamp?
A: Yeah definitely just throughout OTAís and the minicamp definitely gelling, being cohesive and being as one and being a whole unit. Just having a great understanding of each other and what we like to do.
Q: Whatís it like to have someone that went through the same things you did in Tuscaloosa, in Dalvin Tomlinson?
A: Oh man, itís definitely good. He knows the work ethic and I talked to him to see how it feels and he said Ďitís easyí. Itís just easy. He said it is different. Itís just a different outcome from playing in college football for coach [Nick] Saban and playing in the NFL.
Q: Since Darian Thompson got here the thinking is you guys could be a full tandem because of your different strengths and everything. How often is he going to be on the field with you and has he been what you kind of envisioned him being?
A: I know he is going to be on the field with me. He has the talent and the knowledge and the work ethic that I have and he just wants to be on that. He just wants to be on that and is trying to just stay away from being injury prone and he is going to keep working. I think we are going to get together this offseason and just kind of workout together at the same time. So he is going to get that work in and just try to be that best tandem safety back there.
Q: Landon, what are the specific things that you have to do to continue to get better and get to where you want to go?
A: Like I said I want to work on my muscle endurance and I want to run all over the field, and definitely keep my weight down. Iíve got to keep my weight down so I can fly. Working out, eating right, dieting right and film study. Film study is the biggest key of it all so we recognize formations and stuff like that. That would be the biggest thing to take my play to the next level.
Q: Where are you at weight wise?
A: 220 to 218.
Q: Where do you want to be?
A: This season I kind of want to get down to 210. Around that. Iím going to try. I donít know if itís possible for me right now, itís a lot to muscle Iím probably going to have to lose, but if not, around 215.
Q: When is the last time you around that 210 mark?
A: Freshman year in college. Last time I was that.
Q: Is this so youíll add speed?
A: Just fly around. Just be able to fly more around, speed-wise Iím not really worried about.
Q: What did you play at last year?
Q: Spagnuolo said heís fine with your weight, but you do like the banana pudding?
A: His wife definitely made some the other day. I had two of them, I kind of shared those with the team, I was about to take the pan. Canít bring sweets around me.