FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots' second-year linebacker Jamie Collins put on a show with his coverage skills in Wednesday's practice in full pads. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Collins broke up two passes and shut down most every running back and tight end he matched up with during practice.
Despite his success in coverage, Collins remains focused on his overall development rather than his performance in one practice.
"It was OK, you know, there is always room for improvement," Collins said. "Just coming out here, hopefully I'll get better tomorrow."
Collins has already come a long way from his days at Southern Mississippi where he was a raw, jack-of-all-trades type of a player. Now he is settling in as an outside linebacker who specializes in coverage by using his long frame and agility.
"I hope it's another tool for us to win," Collins said. "All 11 guys need to help us and that's what we need to come out victorious. We all need to bring stuff to the table and hopefully I'm doing it."
Among Collins' notable plays Wednesday were a signature pass break-up on a Tom Brady pass to tight end D.J. Williams during 7-on-7 drills. He also prevented a touchdown by sticking with running back Shane Vereen from the line of scrimmage and forcing Vereen out of the end zone on a Brady pass in the right corner.
In addition to Collins' coverage skills, the Patriots linebackers have a variety of skill sets with Jerod Mayo quarterbacking the defense and Dont'a Hightower stopping the run and even rushing off the edge at times. Collins recognizes that this year's linebackers have potential to be something special, describing the trio and depth of the group as a "brotherhood."
Collins was asked what areas he'd like to focus on as training camp progresses.
"Just to play a little faster, man," he answered. "Just get the playbook down all the way down so I can just go out here and go all out."