Jamie Collins: 3 reasons why you should be all-in on No. 91

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1. He is a capable leader

It’s all well and good that Collins is athletic and coming off a career year, but he wouldn’t fit in the New England linebacker corps if he didn’t have leadership ability.

When Jerod Mayo went down for the season in October, the reins of the defense were handed over to Dont’a Hightower. And when Hightower missed time because of injury, it was up to Collins, just a sophomore pro, to man the controls.

In the Pats’ 23-14 win over San Diego, Collins was the man. In addition to leading the team with nine tackles and two sacks, he piloted the defense in the absence of Mayo and Hightower. Here’s what Bill Belichick had to say about No. 91 after that game:

"This was a big game for him San Diego with [Hightower] out – taking over the communication and working with Johnathan [Casillas], who has had the least amount of time playing in there. I thought Jamie did a great job of controlling the defense, recognizing a couple of checks and adjustments we needed to make. He plays with a lot of speed, acceleration. He’s very good in the open field and in space. He’s done a good job of rushing and communicating and working with teammates – getting other guys in the right spots. I think he’s gained a lot of confidence, experience, and an overall grasp of the league through the course of the season, and he’s built on it week by week. He did a really good job for us."

There you have it. If you weren’t all-in on Collins before reading this article, you ought to be now, or else I’m not doing my job as a Patriots writer.

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