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15.01.2020 07:18
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As Steve Burton of WBZ learned the hard way on Saturday night Yodny Cajuste NFL Jersey , Patriots coach Bill Belichick has nothing to add to the statement he issued earlier that day about the conditional reinstatement of receiver Josh Gordon. That didn’t stop reporters from trying to finagle more from Belichick during a Monday press conference.“Yeah, I released a statement on that I have nothing to add to it,” Belichick said in response to the first Josh Gordon question.Belichick then was asked to discuss whether Gordon arrived in good shape.“Yeah, I think I’ve already covered all that,” Belichick said, before flashing a rare podium smile. “Did you get a copy of the statement?”The reporter said he saw the statement on Twitter.“Sorry, I mean, I don’t do MyFace,” Belichick said, dusting off his “take my wife, please” dismissive-of-social-media catch phrase, “but I mean we’re happy to give you a copy of it, it’s really — that’s where I’m at.”Where Gordon is at is the non-football injury list. If he doesn’t pass a physical before August 31, he’ll end up on NFI for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. Related: Re-signing Jamie Collins is a gamble worth taking for the Patriots"The New England Patriots have been quite active since the NFL’s free agency compensation window was shut earlier this month: the team plugged numerous veteran players from the open market over the last three weeks, from now-retired offensive tackle Jared Veldheer to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman to tight end Benjamin Watson. The most intriguing of the men recently brought on board might be linebacker Jamie Collins, though.Collins is, of course Yodny Cajuste NFL Draft , a familiar face in New England, as he started his career as a second-round draft pick by the team in 2013 and quickly developed into one of its core defenders. His tenure, however, came to a sudden end halfway through the 2016 season when the Patriots decided to trade Collins to the Cleveland Browns for a third-round draft choice. Two and a half years after the move, the 29-year-old is now back where his NFL career began.The offseason addition is no lock to make the roster, though, and will have to carve out a role on the team. How good are his chances of doing that? Let’s take a look at the film from his tenure in Cleveland to find out what Collins still has left in the tank and could bring to the table in New England.The goodCleveland swallowed a $2.5 million dead money hit in order to get rid of Collins, so the Browns obviously felt that the investment made in the linebacker was no longer financially feasible. A reason for that was likely his performance over the past two seasons: Collins was an inconsistent player in his new team’s system and failed to live up to the four-year, $50 million deal he signed half a year after being acquired.That being said, he still showed the skills that made him one of the NFL’s most intriguing linebackers — at least in flashes. His outstanding athleticism, for example, was on display on a regular basis. Just take a look at the following play:Originally aligning on the strong side of the formation as an off-the-ball middle linebacker, Collins (#51) does an excellent job on this play of staying on top of All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill (#10) as he enters his zone — one of the toughest assignments for any defensive player, let alone a linebacker. Collins turns his hips fluidly and is able to quickly react to the in-cutting route run by the wideout. This, in turn, allows him to make the tackle and limit any potential yards after the reception.Collins might have been miscast by the Browns as an on-the-ball outside linebacker when the team went to its nickel ‘diamond’ front, considering that he lacks the a wide array of counter moves as a rusher in the both the passing and the running game. When he was left unblocked or allowed to operate in space Yodny Cajuste Buffalo Bills Jersey , however, he was still the same rangy player he was in his first tenure with the Patriots.Playing from a wide-9 alignment, Collins quickly reads his keys and identifies the hand-off based on the offensive line’s zone movements to the defensive left. In turn, the veteran locks in on ball carrier Austin Ekeler (#30) and is able to race across the formation to chase him down and tackle him. This play is therefore another good example for Collins’ still existing skills in the open field.As is the case on the play above, Collins is at his best when he is kept clean or going against tight ends. He does have a habit of dropping his head and throwing his shoulders into blockers, but the results are usually positive when he is able to use his technique properly. On this play, for example, he perfectly applies the stack-and-shed to approach and subsequently win his matchup:Collins aligns off the ball, opposite tight end Virgil Green (#88), who immediately mirrors him after the snap. However, the defender is able to push the blocker back using excellent hand technique. As a result, he is able to disengage quickly to dive for the ball carrier’s legs to make the tackle. Not only does Collins display some sound technique and strength on this play, he also shows some excellent vision to bring Melvin Gordon (#28) down after a minimal gain.One way to get Collins to operate to his strengths and in space is by scheming him open. The Patriots were excellent at doing that by using concepts like the following:After originally attacking left tackle Terron Armstead (#72) from a 7-technique spot, Collins cuts to the inside to stunt around 4i-technique down-lineman Myles Garrett (#95). Able to move freely and without a blocker engaging him, Collins quickly bursts through the offensive left-side A-gap to put pressure on New Orleans Saints passer Drew Brees (#9). Again, his quick movements and speed in the open field made the play and quarterback hit possible.The badOf course, the Browns would not have parted ways with Collins two years into his deal if his play was justifying the financial investment in their eyes. And who can blame them? Despite leading the team in tackles in 2018 Color Rush Yodny Cajuste Jersey , the veteran defender was too inconsistent a performer in numerous aspects — some of those problems were created by his usage in Cleveland’s defense, others were already on display when he was with the Patriots (who are better than any other team in the league at scheming around a player’s shortcomings).A lot of the issues simply had to do with his technique, which at times got sloppy when he tried to take on blockers or tackle ball carriers:Collins, playing as a strong-side off-the-ball linebacker, is in position to make a play here as he evades pull-blocking center Mike Pouncey (#53). In the process of doing so, however, he dips his shoulders in an attempt to duck underneath Pouncey’s blocking attempt. As a result, he allows running back Austin Ekeler (#30) to execute a cut towards the boundary and gain additional yards. Collins got himself in position to make a stop, but simply failed to execute due to a sloppy and inconsistent use of technique.The same can be seen in coverage. Collins can still get to his spots easily in zone concepts due to his range, but he at times seems too focused on the quarterback, which hurts his ability to read what is going on around him:On this play, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (#87) runs straight up the seam as Collins’ assignment. However, the middle linebacker shows some hesitation as he keeps looking into the backfield. This allows Kelce to run past him and get open in the deep portion of the field. Had the pass rush not successfully collapsed the pocket, league MVP Patrick Mahomes (#15) might have been able to hit his tight end for a score.Collins’ processing speed in general has been a problem during his stint with the Browns. The following play from the team’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers is a good example of this:Collins originally aligns over the offensive right-side B-gap in an off-the-ball position, but immediately moves towards the pocket at the snap instead of reading his keys and properly reacting to the play. As a result, he misplays the end-around and is completely out of position once he realizes and turns around. While his athleticism allows him to ultimately catch up to Keenan Allen (#13), the play itself illustrates Collins’ hit-or-miss approach when it comes to reading plays — something that has been a problem in New England as well at times.Those lapses in discipline are on display on numerous occasions when looking at his tape Youth Yodny Cajuste Jersey , especially on misdirection plays:Aligning as a 9-wide edge defender, Collins gets drawn too far inside immediately after the snap. The trickle-down effect created by this helps Mike Williams (#81) gain considerable yardage on yet another end around: with Collins out of position, Virgil Green (#88) is able to free up the edge by simply obstructing the defender’s path, which furthermore allows Williams to get to the outside and into open space.The verdictAll in all, Collins’ scouting report right now is about the same as it was when he was traded away by the Patriots in October 2016. His discipline, tackling, and ability to disengage from offensive linemen are still legitimate concerns. On the other hand, however, he still displays tremendous athleticism, speed and an ability to cover in space. If placed in the right situations and positions, Collins therefore still has the tools to be successful.What will help in this regard is New England’s overall depth at the linebacker position. With Elandon Roberts and Ja’Whaun Bentley assuming early-down duties alongside the top duo at the position — Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy — Collins should be freed up to play primarily in passing situations. This could bring out the best in the veteran. After all, he can still cover most running backs and tight ends man-to-man, has great range to play in zone schemes, and will bring the heat if the scheme allows him to.Ultimately, Collins is worth a shot. Not only is he a cheap option that knows the system, he also adds depth and upside to the linebacker group.

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