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Monday Media Transcript: S Landon Collins

Eric from BBI : Admin : 6/4/2018 2:57 pm
S Landon Collins
June 4, 2018

Q: Are you ahead of schedule in returning from injury, or would you say you are right on schedule?
A: I feel like we are on schedule. We kind of just kept it to ourselves about the whole process and stuff like that. We always knew it was going to take about four weeks, to be safe, six to eight. But it took about four weeks with the proper equipment that we needed.

Q: How important was it for you to be here for the mental part of the game?
A: For myself, it was very important mentally because Iíve got to learn a new defense. Weíve got new guys here, new faces, weíve got new personalities. So, weíve all got to get together and understand each other and be on one page, so we can be a great defense and a great team overall.

Q: What do you see from the different players getting first-team reps at the other safety position alongside you?
A: Theyíre playing great ball out there. Theyíre getting an understanding, the guys theyíre playing next to, theyíre on a tight rope, so theyíre understanding which person got this and making the right call, so the defense has the right call and [they are] playing fast.

Q: What do you like most about this defense so far?
A: Everybody can make plays, literally. Itís not to where itís keyed on one person making the play. Itís overall, anybody can make the play. And we all can play fast. Itís not very complex and we have everything set in stone. You just play fast.

Q: So, do players have more flexibility to make a play if it is there?
A: Correct. Itís more flexibility. You see something, go get it. We play ball, we just play fast.

Q: How close are you to being 100% again?
A: I check with the doctors sometime this week, or next week. Iím very close. Just right now, weíre just taking the precautions, not putting me into the team things, getting my arm caught or anything. Weíre right around the corner from the season, so weíre not about to risk anything.

Q: Do you feel like you could be cleared for mandatory minicamp next week?
A: I could be, but at the same time, at the end of the day we still wonít take any risks. Itís minicamp, weíre not playing for anything right now.

Q: Do you have any worry about the injury not properly healing?
A: Right now, no, no worries right now. None at all.

Q: Why did doctors say you had to have surgery again? Did something go wrong?
A: Nothing went wrong, we did everything, had my second opinion from other doctors, everything was great. I was just in that 20 percentile where it didnít heal correctly.

Q: What is the biggest different around the building from last season?
A: The attitude. Everybody is hungrier. People wanting to play and the new staff is in here. Theyíre asking a lot more from players.

Q: What do you mean the staff is asking more from players?
A: Just asking to come out here and practice and play hard and earn your position.

Q: Do you mean the staff is asking to get more hours out of the players?
A: Oh no, not more hours.†

Q: What do you mean, Ďearn your positioní?
A: Just put in more work. Donít be lackadaisical, basically. As we were kind of last year, everybody was kind of set in stone, everybody knew who was going to be playing. We Ďre looking for, like you say, accountability and knowing what youíre supposed to do, how youíre supposed to do it and when youíre supposed to do it. And come out here and play each and every down. And I know you all saw the practice today, everybody is still flying around and I donít know how many practices weíve had so far, but weíre getting close to the end and weíre still flying.

Q: With the new coaching staff and front office, do you have to prove something to a whole new group now?
A: Correct. Yeah, definitely. Iíve got to come in and say that I can learn this defense, even though Iím not on the field, and put it to the test. And when I get my opportunity to show that I can do it, that me not being on the field is not slowing me down.

Q: Is Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher communicating more with players about what they want the defense to look like?
A: No, not right now. We havenít gotten that far yet, weíre just kind of learning the defense, taking it step by step and making things work. If it doesnít work, heíll take a note to it and weíll go from there. But he hasnít asked any of the players that I know of, anything about what they like about the defense yet.

Q: What do you make of Bettcher?
A: Heís a cool guy. Heís a great coach, heís very stern, he loves what he does. And he loves his players and wants us to all play great.

Q: How would you describe Bettcherís defense?
A: If I were to describe it, I would say, like what I came from in college, honestly. When he came in and he started coaching, it was like Iím back to kind of my grounds and stuff like that. Still quarters, still stuff like that, but back to my grounds from what I had learned in college. Itís kind of second nature.

Q: Do the players have a Ďclean slateí attitude after last season?
A: Yeah, we put all of that behind us. Itís a clean season, new coaching staff, new team, new players, itís a clean slate. We just put all of that behind us. What happened then, it happened, we learned from it and now itís time to move on.

Q: Is cornerback Eli Appleís natural ability and playmaking ability the best he can bring to this team?
A: Yes. Eli, heís comfortable now. Heís got a lot of stress off his shoulders and you can see it. Heís proven that when he comes out at the practices. I know you all have only seen a few (practices), but heís just out here making plays. And thatís not the only play he made. So, heís doing his thing and Iím happy for him. Heís growing up, heís doing his thing and playing great ball.

Q: What was your trip to Puerto Rico like and what did you take away from it?
A: My trip to Puerto Rico was eye-opening. And what I took away from it was that people are still out there grieving and need help. But at the same time, people going out there to even help as much as they can, even if roads are closed, buildings slid down, they are still trying to get there some kind of way. Walking through rivers and stuff like that, just trying to get people what they need to help and survive. So, it was big.

Q: Was it shocking to you and did you take away a different perspective for what you have here?
A: Shocking, I wouldnít say that because I went through it already. So, at the same time, I know what those people are going through. I lost my home, Iíve been without power, Iíve been displaced. Is it shocking? No, because Iíve been through it. But seeing what theyíre going through, I feel it and I know their hearts sting and I know what theyíre going through. So, as much as I can help, I will try my best to help.

Q: When you say youíve been through it before, are you talking about Hurricane Katrina?
A: Correct. Correct.

Q: Was that the tough part of being in Puerto Rico, bringing back some tough memories for you?
A: It wasnít tough because I made it out. But just thinking about it, yes, it was tough. Just seeing those people, just seeing what theyíre going through, the struggle, not being able to travel, sometimes not having food. Yeah, it was tough seeing it. But just to see the smiles on their faces when they saw us walking through with packages, food, open arms just to give them a hug. It was great.

Q: Are you going to have to wear anything this season to protect your arm?
A: I donít plan on it. They probably plan on it, but knowing myself, Iím not going to wear it but weíll see from there.

Q: Has the piece youíre wearing on your arm affected you at all while out here?
A: No, actually the little piece Iím wearing is pretty light, so I donít actually feel it. Itís carbon fiber, so itís kind of light, so I was like, ĎAlright, coolí. But at the same time, itís going to mess up my swag, so Iíve got to look good, you know?

Q: It would be like a weapon though, right?
A: I donít need a weapon. My weapon, Iíve got my shoulders for that.

Q: Have you had a chance to digest the new leading with the helmet rules the NFL has put in place?
A: Yeah, we discussed it and as a team, weíre still going over the rules, still looking at plays and still looking at what could be a helmet-to-helmet, what couldnít be. But at the end of the day, just learn how to tackle, learn to lead with your shoulder. If you donít lead with your feet, youíre not leading with your head. So if you donít leave your feet, (you) donít lead with your head. If you stay on your feet, youíre going to constantly lead with your shoulder. I mean, thatís just how it was coached back in college. So, itís kind of second nature for me to tackle correctly.

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