Patriots will use Jamie Collins at linebacker for starters


Dolphins defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan isn’t the only AFC East rookie who will be spending some time this offseason finding out just how his team plans to deploy him once the regular season gets underway.

Patriots second-round pick Jamie Collins is another player who could fill more than one role. At Southern Miss, Collins spent time as both a linebacker and a defensive end which left some uncertainty about how the Patriots would use them in their defensive front. Mike Reiss of reports that coach Bill Belichick said Friday that Collins would begin working as a linerbacker, although he’s far from guaranteed to stay there for the rest of the offseason.

“He’s done different things and eventually as we go through the spring we’ll look at him in different spots, and see how it goes with him, and also see how it goes with him relative to other players we have and what kind of groupings, and how the team breaks up, where he might be able to help us,” Belichick said. “Not sure exactly how it’s going to turn out.”

The Patriots have other players in the front seven capable of playing in a variety of roles and you’d expect to see them trying a lot of different things defensively during the offseason as they try to maximize the output of all those players. Multiple looks manned by players capable of playing all over the field are essential to stopping the fast, multi-faceted offenses that exist all over the league.  We’re not quite at the point where it is totally meaningless to talk about a team running a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, but the increasing importance of players like Jordan and Collins are part of a trend in defenses around the league that doesn’t figure to fade away any time soon.


8 responses to “Patriots will use Jamie Collins at linebacker for starters

  1. If he works out there, the Pats will move Hightower inside and let Spikes walk after this season.

  2. Although the NFL is in general a “copy cat” league, there’s also been a noticeable “Belichick Effect” in past seasons.

    For a time Belichick was one of the few coaches employing modified 3-4 defenses while other teams were employing other schemes.

    Then every other team began to copy Belichick, and guys able to play the 3-4 began to be hard to find – at which point Belichick then adapted his defense to the available personnel and employed more 4-3 defenses.

    Now with Belichick seeking out guys who can play hybrid defenses to give offenses multiple looks to keep them off balance, we’re sure to see other teams copying that too.

    Once all other teams copy him, Belichick will probably change his approach again, taking advantage of available players and their skills to continue to keep opposing teams off balance.

  3. Teams play more nickel than base defense anyway. That’s why 4-3 MLB has become such a devalued position if the player can’t play in the nickel package. If the avg is about 60% of downs in nickel, the MLB would be on the field less than half the defensive snaps.

  4. Jamie Collins will be the most effective edge rushing rookie in the NFL this season over players like D Jordan & B Mingo.

    Another steal by Bill Belichick in the 2nd round.

  5. If he works out there, the Pats will move Hightower inside and let Spikes walk after this season.


    I’d rather keep Spikes, he creates havoc. Hightower looked very slow in his rookie season. Not that Spikes is fleet of foot, but he forced 5 fumbles last season.

  6. Spikes actually was tied (with Dennard) for 3rd most passes defensed last season with 7. I have my issues with Spikes, too, being half the time he penetrates the O line to find no one there, rushing in with no intelligence, yet the other half the time he disrupts the play, maybe getting a tackle for loss. So, he seems to be getting better overall in the defense, but it would be nice to see more intelligent play, too. I’m hoping to see more out of Hightower this year too, and SOMETHING from Bequette. Is Buchanan this year’s Bequette?

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