New Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins, who was selected No. 52 overall in the second round, spoke to the media via conference call.
Surprised to get picked by Pats?
Man, I’m just happy my name got called.
How happy to be on team that’s going to win a game?
Man, (chuckle) I feel like the NFL, no matter what team you’re on, you just…I’m just going to play my heart out.
Preconceived notions about Pats?
No, not really. From the things I’ve heard about New England there are a lot of pluses, very few minuses but I’m just ready to get in there, man, and get started.
How difficult to play hard when you’re losing?
That just – it’s motivation and it’s adversity. Everybody has to deal with adversity, so it’s not just about losing every game and not being able to play hard, I felt like I had to play hard every game, just because we were losing. I feel like that was going to draw a lot of attention to me to see how I played despite the fact that we were 0-12.
What about you stood out?
I’m a football player. No matter what the team does, it’s an individual person playing football. It’s a team effort, but you have to look at that one individual – if he’s busting his behind, doing the right things, making plays, I feel like that’s a plus.
You know, in the league, all of them are great guys. I’m just ready to get in there and try to follow the leader, look up to these vets and try to feed on them(?) and maybe I’ll be a guy that someone looks up to.
Talk about working out for Belichick.
Coach come down there and worked me out, I had a couple of them, I was looking forward to the workout. I mean, it’s something to deal with football and I’ll do anything to get on the team, be a part of it and to get picked up.
You’ve been a gunner on punt team?
Yeah I did, my sophomore year I played gunner a couple of times. I played punt every year I played right guard.
And you were a defensive back for two years?
Yes sir, I came in as a safety. I played quarterback and safety in high school, and I came into college at 212 so I came in and played safety.
Tell us about your transition to defensive end and linebacker.
It’s just a lot of things, the versatility, going from quarterback to safety to end, you got a lot of mobility and there’s a lot more things you can use as a defensive end just because you’ve played safety and I feel like I can use those to my advantage.
What is your biggest advantage coming off the end?
I’d say my speed and my athletic ability, just the natural, raw talent. Just to do things that I have to do to get to a quarterback.
What percentage would you say you played with your hand in dirt vs. standing up?
No, I played true defensive end my senior year, that was the only time I played true D-end, I was comfortable, that was my first year playing, it felt good. Ten sacks – I never thought sacking the quarterback would feel so good, but it’s just, it gives you a chance to stop a play.
Did you talk to Bill Belichick ahead of the draft?
Yeah, we talked, talked a lot and watched some film. He was a great guy. He wasn’t too hard to communicate with as far as that part of it, as far as being together down there for that time.
What was it like going to defensive end?
I didn’t mean it like that, I’m just saying, like, as far as coming in at safety, to linebacker, to end, it’s different going up against those big guys every play. When you play safety you don’t have to bang with those big guys. But it was fun. I just wasn’t comfortable doing…with the blocks(?). But I mean, it ain’t nothing better than going up against big guys like that over and over, wearing those big guys out, knowing that you can keep going and they’re fatigued.
What was so tough about the coaching change at Southern Mississippi?
I feel like a lot of people didn’t buy into the system. You know, you know how it is when new coaches come in and have a lot of young guys, it was like a soap opera; once it got started it got bigger and bigger.
Do you know Aaron Dobson?
I’ve heard of him, played against him…He was a great guy. Played receiver (I didn’t deal with him too much because I was a defensive end) but I heard he was a great receiver.
Forced fumbles last year – QB strips, knock out of RBs hands?
I had quite a few of both. I had a couple strips on the quarterback and a lot of punches from behind, taking players from behind. I feel like turnovers are the most important thing for a defense – you need turnovers to get the ball back to the offense.
Have you ever been to New England?
What do you think about a cold weather city?
I’m ready for the challenge. Despite whatever it is about the cold weather, because I’m from down south, I’m going to do what’s best for my team, no matter what it is.
Know any guys on this current New England roster?
No, sir, I’m just going in cold.
What do you do away from the field?
I fish and I play pool.
Do you know Brett Favre?
Have you fished with Favre?
Yes sir. I mean, it was pretty cool, going out there with Brett Favre, he’s a nice guy. I’m a big fisherman, coming from down here in the country, I just try to do stuff like that to keep me out of the streets, keep me from doing other stuff, I just do stuff like that to keep me occupied. That’s one of my hobbies; I love fishing.
Heard from Brett tonight?
No, not tonight. He texted me two weeks ago…He was telling me about the process. Bus Cook, the agent, that’s his agent, so we were just talking. I’m just trying to get the scoop on how things go around here.
[Bus Cook is Collins’ agent and Favre’s]
What do you catch?
I’m a bass fisherman; I just fish for bass.
Are you any good at bass fishing?
Yeah, I think I’m pretty good. I think I’m pretty good. I don’t like to brag, I just like to show. Go out and prove.