Zaven Collins loves having “weight on my shoulders” in Cardinals defense

NFL: AUG 04 Arizona Cardinals Training Camp
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The Cardinals didn’t waste any time anointing Zaven Collins as a starting linebacker after they drafted him in the first round this year and they aren’t holding back when it comes to heaping responsibilities on the rookie.

Collins is going to wear a radio in his helmet and will be the one relaying calls to the rest of the defense, which means he’ll have to make sure that the other 10 guys are lining up correctly in addition to being where he’s where he’s supposed to be. It’s a big ask of a rookie, but it’s something Collins says he enjoys.

“Yeah, during the offseason and OTA camps, that’s one thing, but then you get into training camp, where we are now, and you’re install, install, install, install, install and guys are running like their hair’s on fire, so everyone’s looking at you to get that call out to you,” Collins said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “There’s been issues, but you’ve just got to roll through them. But it is day and night from when we first got here and now because of the speed of the game and all that. I love having that weight on my shoulders, though, and I think it’s going good so far.”

Collins will get his first run in the new role against the Cowboys on Friday night. His success will have a lot to do with how well the defense does as a whole in 2021.