A defense that played scared, stiff and timid won’t be that way this year according to Landon Collins. The New York Giants safety acknowledged that this year’s revamped defense will have more flexibility and fluidity to it, something that should translate to some marked improvement from a team that had lots of star power but little production last year.
The defense that keyed the Giants to a playoff return in 2016 fell apart last year. Injuries, a drop in form from several key players, suspensions and some simply bad coaching caused this steep decline. It wasn’t pretty last year for the Giants but the hope is that, despite losing a couple of big names this offseason, that the Giants can look more like the playoff defense from two years ago.
In 2016, only the New England Patriots gave up fewer points than the Giants as a fearsome pass rush and a secondary that made plays spurred this team to the Wild Card. Last year, 30 teams gave up fewer points than the Giants, a shocking and drastic turn of performance in what was a 3-13 year.
Everything seemed to fall apart last year. This offseason, though, Collins is seeing something different from the group.
“Everybody can make plays, literally. It’s not to where it’s keyed on one person making the play. It’s overall, anybody can make the play,” Collins said. “And we all can play fast. It’s not very complex and we have everything set in stone. You just play fast.”
Collins comments further cement the idea that perhaps last year under then-defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo that the Giants unit was a bit too rigid. Collins said that this scheme has “more flexibility. You see something, go get it. We play ball, we just play fast.”
As for his own personal health, Collins wasn’t limited on Monday during the third week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs). He seems to be making progress from a forearm injury that cut his season short at the backend of last year.
He had recent surgery to the arm and now is back in the mix of things again.
“I feel like we are on schedule. We kind of just kept it to ourselves about the whole process and stuff like that,” Collins said. “We always knew it was going to take about four weeks, to be safe, six to eight. But it took about four weeks with the proper equipment that we needed.”
This Saturday, Collins should be good enough to swing the bat at Palisades Credit Union Park in Rockland Couty, NY. His second-annual celebrity softball game featuring a number of his Giants teammates will be held at the ballpark. Limited tickets are still available.
Proceeds will go to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund which supports families dealing with pediatric cancer.