Landon Collins was 'laughing' at rumors that he could move to linebacker

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Collins was 'laughing' at rumors that he could move to LB originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington Football Team safety Landon Collins heard the offseason chatter and rumors that his skillset might be better used at linebacker moving forward in Jack Del Rio's defense.

But, as he told reporters on Tuesday, he didn't take them too seriously.

"I was just laughing at it," Collins said to local reporters via Zoom.

He did say he would play a linebacker-esque role in some defensive packages but is a safety first and foremost.

"I was drafted as a safety, and that's where I was going to be," Collins said. "If somebody was to come talk to me about it, we would talk about it. That's about it. If we have packages to put me into play [at linebacker], I'm always open to it. I'd rather have us all DBs on the field anyway. The more DBs, the merrier."

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Rumors of Collins making a position switch have followed him for much of his NFL career. When he was a prospect coming out in 2015, some teams felt he was better served as a linebacker. But the then-New York Giant quickly quieted that talk with an All-Pro season in 2016, his second year in the NFL.

However, those talks were once again heightened this offseason for a variety of reasons.

For starters, Collins is returning from a ruptured Achilles, one of the most difficult injuries to recover from for any athlete. The safety said Tuesday he will be ready for Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be completely back to his normal self.

It's also worth pointing out that even before the injury, Collins was not living up to the six-year megadeal he signed with Washington in 2019. Collins struggled in his first year with Washington and had just started to finally play the football he's shown he's capable of before he tore his Achilles last October.

Then, in Collins' absence, seventh-round rookie Kamren Curl not only stepped into his place but outplayed him.

Collins was asked about Curl on Tuesday and whether he was worried about how he fits into Washington's defense after witnessing his emergence last fall. 

"No sir, honestly," Collins responded. "I’m just happy the way he played. He’s been playing excellent. He stepped into the position very well, and I’m proud of him. I’m getting older. He’s a younger guy, and the more he learns from me, and the more we learn from each other, the better we are as a defense."

As Collins works back from the Achilles tear -- OTAs have been the first time he's participated in some team activities since his injury -- the plan is for him to remain at safety. Del Rio confirmed that plan to the Washington team website earlier this month.

But, with Curl and the free-agent addition of Bobby McCain, Collins knows he'll have to earn his spot back. 

The 27-year-old safety said he's welcoming all the additions into Washington's defense and ready to see what lies ahead.

"There's a lot of knowledge on the field now," Collins said. "The more knowledge on the field, the better we play as a cohesive defense. When one person goes down, you're not missing a beat. That's the best thing about it."