Jerod Mayo: Jamie Collins making big plays everywhere we use him

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Linebacker Jamie Collins got some praise from head coach Bill Belichick early in training camp and the opening weeks of the regular season have featured reasons for more applause in New England.

Collins had six tackles in the opener before intercepting two passes and returning one for a touchdown in a Week Two win over the Dolphins. He also had a half-sack in Miami and added two more sacks of Jets quarterback Luke Falk to go with 13 tackles over the last two weeks.

During a conference call on Tuesday, Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo was asked about what Collins is doing to be successful in a variety of roles on defense.

“Yeah, you know, I think it’s a combination,” Mayo said. “I think, first of all, Jamie is a very smart guy. He’s able to recognize a lot of different things, a lot of different plays. He studies a lot of film, and he’s played well for us up until this point. So, he’s definitely a smart guy. I think that really helps him. As far as game planning is concerned, one week he’s on the outside, the next week he’s on the inside, so it goes back to his versatility, just being able to play different positions, and he’s making big plays at all of them. So, definitely great to have a guy like Jamie.”

The Patriots defense has given up three points in three games, which is a credit to the work being done by many players on the unit. Collins is high on that list and bringing him back to New England is looking like one of the best moves the team made this offseason.