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Giants safeties coach says Landon Collins has room to grow

Giants
Giants

New York Giants safety Landon Collins put together a stat line in 2016 that no player in NFL history had ever come up with.

He was the first player in NFL history with at least 100 combined tackles, two sacks, five interceptions, and 12 passes defended in the same season. Collins’ actual stats were 125 combined tackles (100 solo), four sacks, five interceptions (including a pick-six), and 13 passes defended.


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Collins had a season worthy of NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. Unfortunately, the Oakland Raiders’ Khalil Mack walked away with the award. Mack received 18 votes, one more than Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller. Collins came in third with nine votes.

Collins did earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl and made First-team All-Pro but is using the snub for the DPOY as motivation entering the 2017 season.

“I feel like I was robbed, and I’m going to get it this year,” Collins said in an interview with Jenny Vrentas of Monday Morning Quarterback. “Look at the stats. The stats proved their point. My play proved its point. And I made game-changing plays. I made a difference.”

Collins’ play proved its point in both of his NFL seasons. He led the Giants in tackles with 112 combined (84 solo), 24 more than any player on the team. He also had a sack and nine passes defended.

The Giants went 6-10 in Collins’ rookie season. Last year, the Giants were 11-5 with their first playoff appearance in five years. The defense allowed the second fewest points in the NFL. Collins had something to do with that.

Safeties coach David Merritt said Wednesday they will ask Collins to do more in 2017 because he believes Collins has the potential to be “in the running for a possible Player of the Year, constantly making Pro Bowls and things like that, being All-Pro”.

“He has room to grow,” Merritt said in an interview with New York Newsday. “With this defense, and understanding not only his position but understanding how far he can cheat, how far he can take a disguise, that’s part of the growth we’re talking about.

“He has to continue to learn this defense…understand the pieces of the puzzle and where everyone else is around him on the field, that’s where he has to continue to grow.”

Merritt cited former Giants safety Antrel Rolle as an example of a player who had a great season in 2013 but dropped off in 2014. If Collins doesn’t want to suffer the same fate, he has to take his position coach’s words to heart and put in all the necessary work to take the next step to show the last two years weren’t a fluke.

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