HENDERSON, Nev.: Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden has insisted because the begin of coaching camp that offseason acquisition Maliek Collins can be on the coronary heart of the Raiders’ protection.
Hell be the anchor of us, Gruden mentioned. Well go so far as he takes us.
Collins, who spent the primary 4 years of his profession with the Dallas Cowboys, mentioned Thursday hes ready to just accept that duty.
Im actually excited for this subsequent step … Im prepared for it, mentioned Collins, who signed a one-year contract price $6 million. You simply wager on your self. Ive at all times been an individual that, I acquired full confidence in me. I do know what Im able to. When I talked to Gruden, after I first deliberate on coming right here, he advised me to only are available in and simply be myself. Thats what Ive been attempting to do to the perfect of my skill, do issues that I usually do. Im not an enormous speech man, Im not an enormous hoorah man. Kind of simply lead by instance and do issues the appropriate means.
Statistically, the 25-year-old hasnt essentially had as huge a 12 months as his rookie season, when he established profession highs with 17 solo tackles, 5 sacks and 13 quarterback hits.
Overall, Collins has 14.5 sacks and 54 solo tackles in 61 profession video games. He had 15 solo tackles, 4 sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 video games final season for the Cowboys.
Raiders line of defense coach Rod Marinelli mentioned its not about numbers, its about the way you impression the sport.
And if there’s one one that is aware of about Collins price to a protection, its Marinelli, who additionally came visiting from Dallas and spent the previous 4 seasons serving to mildew the 6-foot-2, 303-pound defensive sort out.
Collins mentioned having Marinelli in camp has helped him ease into defensive coordinator Paul Guenthers system.
Im grateful to be again with him once more, Collins mentioned. Hes demanding, and I say that in a great way. He desires you to be the identical man day-after-day, thats the primary factor. He desires us to be constant as gamers, simply as he’s teaching.
Collins mentioned he spent the offseason specializing in his food regimen and reducing roughly 20 kilos of physique fats after suiting up at round 325 kilos final 12 months. He seemed to be on the prime of his recreation at some point earlier than the workforce was scheduled to scrimmage inside Allegiant Stadium for the primary time.
Gruden and Guenther are hoping Collins affect will assist convey self-discipline to a unit that had the third-most penalties (128) and penalty yards (1,138) final season, and that ranked lifeless final in web penalties (-37) and web yards (-375). The Raiders additionally ranked within the backside half of the league in turnover differential (-2), one other space Collins presence can profit the protection.
I believe we’ve an opportunity to be a lot, a lot better, Gruden mentioned. I actually assume the important thing to our protection is eliminating penalties, creating extra turnovers and I believe Maliek Collins is a reputation that we acquired to circle and take a look at each single day. I believe that three-technique on this protection has to boost hell and hes acquired to do it for us.
Guenther likened Collins to eight-time Pro Bowl sort out Geno Atkins of the Cincinnati Bengals, calling the fifth-year professional doubtlessly the Raiders finest offseason acquisition, somebody who can be anticipated to shore up a protection that allowed the eighth-most passing yards final season.
Hes been large with the youthful gamers, educating them methods, Guenther mentioned. I at all times inform the gamers, data is energy. Whether youre in soccer or enterprise, if you already know what youre speaking about persons are going to gravitate to you, and thats what he possesses. They need to choose his mind and hes keen to present it again to them. Thats the form of man you need on this workforce.
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