Given his long pedigree with the New England Patriots’ style of defense stretching back to Matt Patricia’s days in Foxboro, the seamless integration of free agent acquisition Jamie Collins Sr. into the Lions defense was a natural thing to assume. Speaking to the media via Zoom on Thursday, though, the newly-arrived linebacker made it clear he is also fitting right in with his new team off the field as well.
MLive’s Ben Raven highlighted the camaraderie between Collins and fellow linebacker Jarrad Davis at the start, linking back to mutual admiration expressed by Davis earlier in the week. When the questions turned to the special circumstances in 2020 due to COVID precautions, Collins focused on professionalism, trust, and readiness to work with his teammates and coaches. Justin Rogers from the Detroit News honed in on the fact that that Collins never considered opting out, and that he thinks everyone on the team is ready to deal with it together:
“That’s how we become a brotherhood — you hold your brother accountable. You can’t always hold his hand and walk across the street, you know what I’m saying? ... I know you’re going to do the right thing when I’m there; I need to know you’re going to do the right thing when I’m not there. And that’s what’s really important. You harp on that so much.”
Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press thought the veteran offered good thoughts on the ongoing nature of the pandemic and how the short deadline to make a decision may not be the end of the opt out issue. Under the final agreement, the league showed they agreed with what Collins was speaking about because the rules allow for players to make an opt out choice after the deadline if there are “changed circumstances” involving new risks or medical situations with their families.
While expectations were already high on what Collins could do for the Lions on the field, Thursday’s press appearance was an encouraging sign he is also delivering in the unit leadership department. And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Lions head coach Matt Patricia was on the Friday edition of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football:
- Per Ian Rapoport, former Lions cornerback Rashaan Melvin filed for a voluntary opt-out before the deadline yesterday. According to James Johnson at Jaguars Wire, Melvin was expected to compete for a starting cornerback spot before opting out.
The key to defense in the modern NFL is stopping the pass. You can't do that without pressuring the QB. So I studied how the best units get after the QB. The result is this 5-part series, which starts with a stats-based look at pressure in the NFL. https://t.co/i6ob95NZSb— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) August 6, 2020
- Although he is not yet assured of a permanent roster spot for the upcoming season, Reggie Ragland’s past work meshes well with what the Lions do on defense. Erik Schlitt at Lions Wire dug into the 2019 data to see how alignment and pre-snap movement provides some clues on this.
- According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Lions are still in the top 10 in 2020 cap space remaining after accounting for opt-out decisions (OverTheCap had them ninth in the league before opt-outs in effective cap space):
Official cap space post-opt outs (1-11):— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 7, 2020
1. CLE: $40,468,180
2. NE: $33,431,135
3. WAS: $30,634,658
4. DEN: $29,541,191
5. NYJ: $29,266,652
6. TEN: $25,199,921
7. MIA: $24,650,560
8. BUF: $24,288,558
9. PHI: $23,749,246
10. DET: $22,933,007
11. IND: $22,256,027
- A fun blast from the past via the @NFLThrowback account: