New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins made a name for himself last season, making plays all over the field during the team's Super Bowl run. Tallying 116 tackles, two picks, and four sacks, and four forced fumbles, Collins was a menace for opposing offenses to deal with.
Luckily for the Patriots' offense, they get to face Collins everyday in practice. He's the type of player that you don't know if he's rushing the passer or dropping into man coverage on your tight end. For offensive coordinators and quarterbacks, it causes headaches. Lots of headaches.
One player who gets to see Collins at his best each and every day in practice is tight end Rob Gronkowski. It's not surprising that Gronk has taken notice of the third-year linebacker, and went as far as to give Collins some very high praise.
"He's a freak," Gronkowski said, via the Providence Journal. "He's fast, he's long and he's strong and he plays the game of football how it should be. He knows how to hit. He knows how to cover. He's just an overall good player so it's great going versus guys like him. That definitely makes you compete and makes you better."
If someone on defense is making Gronkowski a better player, he's obviously doing something right. Gronk is one of the toughest guys to cover in the NFL, which goes to show how great Collins is when a player of Rob's caliber is complementing a defender that way -- teammate or not.
While other players are happy to praise Collins' play, the linebacker won't do the same for himself.
"I'm not all into that," Collins said. "That's not me. I just come out here and do what I have to do. I can't control what people think of me. I just come out here and do my job, do what I've got to do. Whatever they say, it's not going to impact me."
(h/t Providence Journal)