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Jalen Collins "In a good place", rebuilding relatioships


atlbaby
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http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2016/5/29/11809722/atlanta-falcons-cornerback-jalen-collins-in-a-good-place-rebuilding

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The Atlanta Falcons generally like to avoid players with character flaws. Inasmuch as they can, the front office tries to screen players, almost to a fault. But Jalen Collins was an exception. When the Falcons took Collins with the 42nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, they knew they were taking a project player. From a maturity standpoint, he was going to need some seasoning. And notwithstanding his immense natural talent, his technique needed some work as well.

Collins ultimately had what can fairly be described as a disappointing rookie campaign. His play was simply unremarkable. That said, the Falcons were depending on him heading into this season. (Collins figures to get considerable snaps as the Falcons third cornerback.) But now, because of his decision to take PEDs, the Falcons will be exceptionally thin at cornerback over the first quarter of the season. For what it's worth, it appears Collins has a healthy attitude about the situation.

 

"It was just a mistake, ya know, dealing with some stuff last year, didn't handle it the best I could and paying for it now. Just being young and trying to do things my own way. And not relying on the support I have here, my teammates and my coaches ... I've had to do a lot of different things this past off-season. Rebuilding some relationships with coaches. It's kinda shifted my perspective on things. Kinda got my head in a good place right now."

This is a pivotal moment for Collins. The pressure to perform at the next level can obviously be overwhelming, but there's a right way to do things and wrong way to do things. Collins chose the latter and now he's paying for it.

 

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I see this guy does not know how to deal with adversity. He has people believing in him, and he doesn't believe in himself.

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FLOWERY BRANCH — If this were only about physical tools, there wouldn’t be a question whether Jalen Collins will make the Falcons look good for drafting him. He is tall and fast and plays cornerback, a combination that gives coaches the same look that miners had when they found something sparkly and gold mixed into rocks and dirt.

But success in the NFL doesn’t hinge merely on size and speed. Teams get suckered in by the measurables all the time. That’s why geraniums like Ryan Leaf get drafted second overall and Tom Brady waits until pick No. 199 (Pinocchio tendencies, notwithstanding). NFL success hinges on things that can’t be measured with a stopwatch — maturity, intelligence, work ethic — which is why there’s some debate about Collins.

“I personally don’t think I’m a risk,” the Falcons’ second-round pick said after a light workout at a Falcons rookie camp. “I know myself. I’ve gotten myself under control. I’m living right.”

Exhale.

Exhale?

Collins was elevated to starter his junior season at LSU when Rashard Robinson was kicked off the team. There was some symmetry there. Collins played regularly as a freshman and started the first two games as a sophomore, but then lost his job to Robinson.

“I was benched,” he said. “After that I was pretty much on special teams the rest of the season. I didn’t think I was terrible. I could have done some things better, but I didn’t really agree with the decision.”

He was angry. He sulked. He blamed the world. He considered transferring. He admits he started “hanging around some of the wrong people” and doing some of the wrong things. Too often, he looked for an escape with mind-altering substances.

News leaked before the draft that Collins failed three drug tests at LSU. The time-frame is non-specific, but Collins said his problems primarily came in his sophomore season in 2013.

“When I was down, it was hard to deal with,” he said. “I wanted to just be done with it all. Now it (marijuana) is just an escape that people use.”

A number of teams were interested in Collins. He had 26 interviews at the scouting combine, with the Falcons, New Orleans, Green Bay and Pittsburgh reportedly among the serious parties.

That speaks to his talent level and, to some degree, perhaps how far he has come. Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory and Missouri outside linebacker Shane Ray both slid significantly in the draft, in part because of drug issues. Collins was projected as a late first or early second-round pick, which is where he went.

“He got a bad rap,” said Corey Raymond, LSU’s secondary coach and a former NFL defensive back. “The stuff you’re hearing about is more from early in his career. His mom played a big role in helping him. He came back the next year, and he was like a new person.”

Collins affirmed that family members supported him and jolted him back to reality. They were “just trying to keep me calm,” he said.

“When you lose your starting job, you just want to be mad and upset all the time. I just wanted to blame everybody else. They got me to realize I can only control what I can control. My mom got me to realize what I had at stake, and if I kept going down that path I probably wouldn’t be here right now. I had to check my friends and the decisions I was making.”

What did he learn?

“Control what I can control. I realized it was my actions that got me to where I was at.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn came from the Seattle Seahawks, who are known for taking risks on some players.

“You do it on an individual basis,” he said. “If a player has a setback, how are they coming back from that? You’re always cautious with a player who has had things repeat over and over again. But when those setbacks happen and then you’re on the right course, you’re more comfortable.”

The Falcons also are comfortable where Collins is physically. He had the beginning of a “Jones fracture” in his right foot, requiring surgery in March. A screw was inserted to stabilize the area. Consequently, he did not run drills in a rookie minicamp this week, but will be ready for training camp in July, Quinn said.

Collins is Quinn’s kind of player: Fast, physical tough. Just look at Seattle’s defense. He could push Robert Alford for a starting job, with one or the other moving inside in nickel situations.

“I’ll do whatever they want,” Collins said.

Humility is a wonderful thing.

Collins expected his failed drug tests to come up in pre-draft interviews.

“Every team asked me that question,” he said. “They just said: ‘Make sure you stay clean because we’ll definitely use you.’”

It could be that simple.

 

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3 minutes ago, Defensive Captain said:

I see this guy does not know how to deal with adversity. He has people believing in him, and he doesn't believe in himself.

He's going to be straight. I believe the foot surgery last offseason set him back a little.

Wasn't able to take the field in rookie minicamp and OTA's where he could have used those reps to work on his technique.

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1 hour ago, atlbaby said:

He's going to be straight. I believe the foot surgery last offseason set him back a little.

Wasn't able to take the field in rookie minicamp and OTA's where he could have used those reps to work on his technique.

His lack of physicality had nothing to do with his foot. Him being soft coupled with his awful awareness is not a good recipe. 

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16 minutes ago, Falcan Moore said:

Says the right things but I'll believe it when I see it. Backed him as someone who seemed to have turned it around last season and he was like "actually nope" and did PEDs (which weed is considered, to the NFL, and that was his issue before).

Whatever. Just walk the walk. 

Are you serious? NFL considers weed a PED? Never would have thought that. I get that some say weed helps with pain but aspirin probably works better than weed. If amything I would imagine it hurts your ability to think fast and remember play calls thereby ruining performance not enhancing it!

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24 minutes ago, Ben Day Hoe said:

Are you serious? NFL considers weed a PED? Never would have thought that. I get that some say weed helps with pain but aspirin probably works better than weed. If amything I would imagine it hurts your ability to think fast and remember play calls thereby ruining performance not enhancing it!

If he smoked weed I highly doubt he did it for training purposes

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28 minutes ago, Ben Day Hoe said:

Are you serious? NFL considers weed a PED? Never would have thought that. I get that some say weed helps with pain but aspirin probably works better than weed. If amything I would imagine it hurts your ability to think fast and remember play calls thereby ruining performance not enhancing it!

I think it would hurt your ability to keep a straight face, during the pumped in crowd noise.

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6 minutes ago, Old Pappy falcon said:

I think it would hurt your ability to keep a straight face, during the pumped in crowd noise.

Still laughing about that guy who had a gas mask bong video. Hopefully, Mr Collins sees the team trying out veterans and it is motivating him. I know it would motivate me.

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13 minutes ago, Ben Day Hoe said:

Still laughing about that guy who had a gas mask bong video. Hopefully, Mr Collins sees the team trying out veterans and it is motivating him. I know it would motivate me.

lol me too! Collins is young and he's gotta grow up now with an opportunity of a lifetime! A lot of great players that never get picked or overlooked.

.............Don't mess up a privilege of being called, an NFL player!  Grow up Collins we need you! Didn't sign Boykins ..............that's the third chance right there man!

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When the Falcons took Collins with the 42nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, they knew they were taking a project player.

The problem with this statement is you do NOT pick a project in the second round.  The way he played last season, he should have been a 7th rounder or undrafted player.

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31 minutes ago, Phrootdawg said:

Thank you TD or was this a Quinn pick?

I think this was the result of Quinn telling TD and staff what he was looking for in a player, and of all the available tall, long CBs available they picked Jalen Collins.

I chalk this up to the front office still not knowing the specifics of everything Quinn wanted in a player their first year together.

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5 hours ago, stizz said:

His lack of physicality had nothing to do with his foot. Him being soft coupled with his awful awareness is not a good recipe. 

I dont agree with the soft statement...technically? ?? Yeah,  he needs work , but dude went all out on special teams...making a few hits out there. ..i didnt see him as soft....i saw him slow to react on several occasions. That could be due to the lack of confidence in what he is being asked to do....once he stops thinking, he will be fine

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The guy was super raw coming out of college and now he has 2 setbacks in his first 2 years. If he was a 6th round pick he'd probably already be gone. He says all the right things but his actions don't match his words. I'll be surprised if he ever warrants the faith that Quinn put in him. I hope I'm wrong (and that's certainly a possibility) but I think we'll be writing this guy off by the next off-season. It seems like inside reads are too fast for him and his technique is too poor to trust him on the outside. Maybe he'll get it together and make me eat crow, but I doubt it. 

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4 hours ago, trubirdfan4life said:

I dont agree with the soft statement...technically? ?? Yeah,  he needs work , but dude went all out on special teams...making a few hits out there. ..i didnt see him as soft....i saw him slow to react on several occasions. That could be due to the lack of confidence in what he is being asked to do....once he stops thinking, he will be fine

I saw several times where he was the closest guy to get to the pun returner and just whiff on air. Very easy to look like you're hustling if you don't intend to make contact. I think you're right in that the NFL is too big for him. Time will tell.

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