FOXBOROUGH — Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins, the team's top draft choice in 2013, has always been short with words and high on deeds.
As an understudy to an experienced linebacker group last year, he found himself playing less and learning more in the first half of the season. But as members of his position group were sidelined due to injuries, he was thrust into a more prominent role in the latter half of the year, excelling in parts and earning the respect of the coaching staff. So when asked what he's learned and what advice he would depart to the Patriots' 2014 draft class, whoever those players may be, Collins was his usual short self, but made sure to advise what he knows matters.
"Just come in and work man," Collins said. "Nothing is given to you. You just gotta come out and take it."
Ask Collins about his versatility ("I'm a do whatever I'm told to do") or if the team's new secondary acquisitions will let him rush the passer ("time will tell") or about former linebacker Brandon Spikes ("Sometimes you gotta move on") and you'll get the same short synopsis of his thoughts. But he'll waste no time to expand on what is needed to do his job, and therefore help his soon-to-be colleagues.
"Some guys are different," he said. "I’m just one of those guys, you know, I just look at things and I just know that’s my job, I gotta go to work and I gotta do what I gotta do in order to survive."
Work. Work. And more work. If the rookies come in and keep things simple, all should go well.