S Landon Collins -- December 31, 2018
Q: What do you feel about your (contract) situation moving forward? What are your hopes?
A: My hopes are to be here, honestly. Thatís my hopes. Like I said from the beginning, Iíve been drafted here, I want to finish my career here. Itís a hope and itís a dream of mine, and hopefully make it a reality.
Q: Have you spoken to any members of the front office yet? Has that process started?
A: No, the process has not begun yet. Hopefully it begins soon. (General Manager Dave) Gettleman announced it in the meeting today that guys that have contracts coming up, weíre going to talk about it when we have the chance to. So, itís going to come down the line, and weíre going to have that discussion. Iím going to leave that up to my agency, and go from there.
Q: How much do you think your shoulder injury plays into that decision?
A: No, it doesnít play into it at all. It wouldíve played into it if I didnít go through with the surgery. It wouldíve played more of a factor, but now itís not a main factor at all.
Q: When can you get back to football related activities or even lift weights again?
A: Thatís a good question. Football activities are going to be probably the end of February, early March. Thatís football activities, but other than getting back in the weight room, thatíll be sooner than I expect I think.
Q: If they franchise tagged you, some guys get pissed off, but would you play if the team decided to franchise tag you?
A: Would I play on it? I mean, I got no choice to play on it. Itís not a big concern of mine. I know what Iím capable of. I think weíll work something out before that. If not, franchise it is. Just got to continue proving myself as my worth.
Q: We havenít talked to you since you got hurt. How hard was it to sit out these last four games?
A: It was hard. I miss playing with them, my guys being on the field, the enthusiasm, just the accomplishments I can get with these guys. I missed the interceptions with my guy (FS Curtis Riley) ďBoobieĒ when he caught it. I missed all of that. Just the opportunity to be around the guys, smiling with them, hugging them, taking pictures with them, I miss all of that. Just the opportunity to make plays. Itís hard.
Q: You had a lot of rookie kind of guys play on defense this season. What did you think of the way the young guys stepped in and handled the situation with you being out? Do you feel as if more of a veteran presence is needed?
A: Honestly, I think the rookies did a great job. They stepped up in positions. We always tell any and everybody, youíre play can be the next play. I went down, itís now up to (S) Sean (Chandler), (CB) Grant (Haley), and Boobie, and all those guys to step up and take over. They did an awesome job. Talking about the veterans, thatís up to the people upstairs and see what theyíre going to do. I canít tell you what we need and how it goes. Iím not a GM (laughter).
Q: Given the role you were asked to do in this defense, do you feel as if youíve grown as a player and shown the league youíre more than just a box safety?
A: Yeah, definitely. People consider me a box safety, but I can play all over the field. I proved myself within that aspect. It is what it is. I know what I can do. Guys know what I can do. My teammates know what I can do. Here, they know what I can do. So, itís up to them.
Q: Would you like to continue to do, basically, everything?
A: Always Ė it puts more on my plate, but it shows that I can handle it and my character, and my ability to take it from the classroom to the field.
Q: Are you tired of losing?
A: Am I tired of losing? Yeah, hell yeah. I came from a winning organization. Definitely tired of losing, yeah.
Q: When you sit there and have to heal and are reflecting, how do you see you guys as an organzation, as a team snapping out of what's happened the last couple of years?
A: Honestly, weíre building Ė weíre taking steps closer and closer each and every time, every game and loss. Like Mr. Gettleman said, every game within the last 12 games was lost by less than a touchdown, besides the Eagles. Stuff like that, weíre just a touchdown away from being in the playoffs. Weíre growing, and weíre a better team than we were last year, and we showcased that. Iím glad for the opportunity to show that.
Q: What about the culture? Do you guys feel as if youíve grown away from that 3-13 culture?
A: Yeah, honestly going from last year to the focus and determination, the guys being accountable for what theyíre doing, watching film, being in tune, and loving the game, enjoying every time we go out on the field. Regardless if we were 3-6, or whatever we were, guys were still coming in working, preparing themselves to be able to win the next game.
Q: After the injury and this defense, can you have another season like 2016 with all those sacks and picks?
A: Yeah, definitely. As we continue growing in this defense, itís the first time we played in this defense, we had a lot of stuff to learn, and putting in different things. So yeah, once you work out the kinks, I can definitely have a year like I always have.
Q: Do you like the way you were used in this defense?
A: Yeah, I was used all over the field and thatís kind of how I like to be used, because I can kind of just do anything.
Q: What do you like about Coach Shurmur? What did he do this year that was different that maybe made the most impact on you guys?
A: He kept a lot of veterans in tune into this season, and thatís a hard thing to do. You can keep young guys because they donít understand the business part of it yet. You can keep them in tune, but when you keep a lot of veteran guys Ė guys thatís been through it, guys that were on a losing team last year and came back, and now weíre going through it again, he kept us in tune and making sure that we were focused, and coming each and every day to work, and making sure that we win every game, trying to win.
Q: How did he do that?
A: Multiple ways, honestly. Just talking to us, captain meetings, having guys talk to each other, and letting us be honest with each other, with him, the guys next to us, the coaches, the whole coaching staff. We couldnít hold our tongue as much.
Q: So, he welcomed any kind of criticism as leaders?
A: Correct Ė what we did within the doors, we kept between us.