Safety Landon Collins
Postgame vs. Detroit, December 18, 2016
Q: Landon, can you talk about the defensive effort? You had another team thatís scoring 20 coming into the game but you guys held them to six.
A: Itís a mindset. Coach Spags told us all week that we donít want last week to be our best defensive game. Thatís our mindset now and we wanted to showcase today.
Q: Last season you guys lost a lot of close games, this season youíre winning those games and the defense has been a significant part of that. Whatís the difference between last season and this season in terms of pulling out those close games?
A: Definitely the guys that we brought in. The defensive front is playing awesome; getting pressure on the quarterback and not letting them see the whole field. Secondly, our back end is covering and making great plays, making great stops and getting off the field on third down. Thatís been the biggest mindset.
Q: Youíre playing at an all-pro level this season in only your second season. What has been, for you, the most significant aspect of your huge leap from last year to this season?
A: My huge leap has been knowing the defense. Knowing what Iím supposed to do in my second year going into the defense and just knowing key details and key assignments. Knowing everybody needs help and knowing where the defense needs help in general and just playing great ball.
Q: I know you learned a lot from DRC, he comes in, gives up the 67-yard pass, but he chases it down and gets the interception later on. What do you see from a veteran like that?
A: Consistency. He does that at practice. He might give up the big one but he turns the page. Heís going to play great ball and heís not going to let anybody score on him. You saw what he did. He chased a man down from at least 15 yards, and thatís DRC. Heís a vet, he knows how to play the game; he knows when to steal it and he knows when to take his chances.
Q: When you saw the moves that were made on the defense in the offseason, what went through your mind? Did you know it would come together right away or did you have to wait and see about that?
A: No, we didnít know it would come together like that but when weíre in the locker room, weíve got to build the brotherhood fast and getting our guys so we can be on the same page when weíre on the field and when it all happened, we all just gelled and became as one. The defense was booming after that.
Q: The secondary is playing as well as any unit in the league. When you guys step on the field do you have that mindset that youíre as good as any secondary and youíre just going to stop anybody thatís up against you?
A: Our mindset is to stop the opponent; not let them score. Thatís our mindset. We want to be one of the top defenses in the league, but like I said, our mindset is to get off the field on third downs, make a play, get our offense back the ball in scoring position, and go from there.
Q: Talk about the physical exchange you had with Eric Ebron.
A: Ebronís a great player. I donít really like the ref calling that one time on the sideline but heís a great player. He knows how to run his routes, heís smart, he knows what the down and distance is, he knows the situations of football. I just played my best and did my best. I just have to cover him well, thatís my job. When I get times to cover a tight end I go back to last year and I gave up too many yards and this year Iím not trying to do that. Any time I get to cover anybody, Iím trying to shut them down.
Q: You guys have a quick turnaround, you play Philly at Philly. Obviously a divisional opponent, tough road game. Whatís the preparation in getting ready for that game?
A: Weíve got to get in the cold and hot tubs. Weíve got to recover real quick because itís a quick turnaround, like you said. I think practice is going to be kind of light. Weíre going to try to push it as much as we can and get as much of a concept of what they like to do. We play against them two times so itís not much so just getting that feel good.
Q: Do you see a big difference in the way the fans are reacting to you this year? You guys are 7-1 at home versus last year?
A: We hear the fans but when the ball snaps everything is out of there. You canít really hear them when the play is going on. At the end of the down when you hear them yell and you hear them see a great play and yell your name and chant, itís a great feeling.
Q: When you lost JPP, people were asking questions about whether the defense could continue to play at this level and you come out and play the way you have the last couple weeks, what do you think is going into that?
A: Whoever got that opportunity at that position is stepping up and doing their job and doing a great job at it because when your name is called upon, youíre either going to go down or youíre going to go up and a lot of us have been going up.
Q: Do you feel like you guys could maintain that level after losing JPP?
A: Yea, we definitely did. The guys that came in when they were rotating JPP and they came in, they did a great job of making plays. We didnít count them out, we didnít doubt them. We knew what we had as a defense and we knew if they had an opportunity to make a play, they were going to do so.
Q: How close did you get to recovering that fumble that Leon forced?
A: It was in my hands and somebody kicked it.
Q: Two more games to go against division opponents but you guys are in good position. For you guys right now, obviously itís the one game at a time, but what is the goal over these last two games?
A: Prepare well, try to stay as healthy as we can, and stay on the field more as much as possible because weíve got a long way to go. Weíve got two more games but weíre trying to push all the way to the end and like I said, just keep on pushing.
Q: As a rookie, you know what you went through your rookie season, what do you see Eli Apple going through? He had a couple of passes defended out there. What do you see in how his game is progressing this year?
A: Heís got two great corners that are next to him so heís learning from them. A great coach in Coach Walton, who has done a great job with him in keeping him honest and on his details and on his game because if he didnít, he would be getting toasted like I did last year. Other than that, heís been doing a fantastic job.