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Offline Pack93z  
#31 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 2:29:11 PM(UTC)
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Quote:
Brad Zimanek column: Collins shows what he's learned
By Brad Zimanek October 19, 2008

The Packers free safety has turned the corner from good to great, from being serviceable to becoming a star, from being noticed occasionally for doing something good or bad throughout the course of a game to one continually making game-changing plays.

Collins did it again Sunday against Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

Early in the third quarter, the Packers held a tenuous 17-7 lead with Indianapolis facing a third-and-6 from the Packers 48-yard line.

Mannings pass deflected off the hands of Reggie Wayne and into Collins arms. Though he stood 62 yards from the end zone, but he said he knew he was going to score.

Im a former running back, I know what to do with it when I get the ball, Collins said.

The run though was filled with excitement. He broke a tackle from Wayne and headed up field with several stops and starts along the way.

Whenever were on offense and they score defensively, thats always a back-breaker, Wayne said. It was a good play by him.

Collins favorite move on the run? The one he put on Colts tackle Ryan Diem inside the 20-yard line that left him flat-footed, grasping air.

Thats what Ive been doing the whole season, Collins said after the Packers' 34-14 victory. That play changed the game.

Its Collins fourth interception of the season tying him with Charles Woodson for the team lead through seven games while also equaling his career total entering the year.

It was his second interception return for a touchdown to go along with a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter Sept. 14 in a 48-25 win over Detroit.

Thats a far cry from last year. Collins started only 13 games and struggled with a variety of injuries, but he failed to get any interceptions and was credited with defending only six passes. Thats when offseason work with Woodsons help became a priority.

It wasnt the amount of film we watched, Woodson said. I helped teach him what to look for. How to look for different personnel groups and to react. To play them out in your head, so when you see the ball, youll know what they are trying to do.

If you do that, nine of 10 times you are going to be right.

That study paid dividends for Collins on the next drive following his interception return. It was equally important in keeping Manning from reclaiming lost momentum.

The Colts faced second-and-9 from the Packers 27-yard line and both Wayne and Marvin Harrison lined up on the right. Harrison had several steps on Will Blackmon off the ball. It appeared they were destined to reach the end zone, which would simply add to the duos record as the top touchdown connection in NFL history.

But Collins shot across and deflected the ball before it had a chance to reach Harrison.

They had been trying to set that up all game, Collins said. They had Reggie in the slot and they wanted me to bite toward the middle on him. But I saw formation during the week and I was able to get over there and break up the play.

Collins trails only Nick Barnett for the team lead in tackles. Hes on pace to break 100 for the second time in his career after posting a career-high 102 in 2006.

On a team struggling with injuries, Collins has been more productive than Barnett, A.J. Hawk and Aaron Kampman. Only Woodsons performance can stack up as the teams defensive MVP and Woodson calls Collins performance thus far unbelievable.

He always knows where he needs to be, Kampman said of Collins. Hes always had the physical ability to match up with anyone. But now hes a student of the game. Thats allowing him to reach his potential. All that work hes put in is paying off.

Brad Zimanek is the sports editor
Offline TOPackerFan  
#32 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 2:32:38 PM(UTC)
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Joined: 8/13/2008(UTC)
I've been all over Collins for a while now and he's really proved me wrong. I also feel like a schmuck for criticizing him last year given that his Dad was battling cancer last year, which obviously affected his play.

Nick is really living up to them giving him the #36 (in all ways other than LeRoy's general douchebaggery)!
Offline gbpfan  
#33 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 2:33:49 PM(UTC)
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i always liked nick glad to see he is a force to recon with :icon_smile:
Offline cheeseheads123  
#34 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 2:45:54 PM(UTC)
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keep up the good work collins and company
Offline IronMan  
#35 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 3:54:41 PM(UTC)
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The only thing Nick Collins did wrong is he did his Lambeau Leap in section 136 instead of 134. I was THAT close to being on TV.
Offline wpr  
#36 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 4:26:15 PM(UTC)
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" said: Go to Quoted Post
The only thing Nick Collins did wrong is he did his Lambeau Leap in section 136 instead of 134. I was THAT close to being on TV.

What a bum. They should put him on the bench this week. that will teach him. (Yes I know this week is a bye week.)
Offline MassPackersFan  
#37 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 4:30:01 PM(UTC)
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The pass breakup on that TD attempt to Harrison was a thing of beauty. I can't think of many safeties in the league right now with the speed, jumping ability, and hands to knock that one away.
Offline Timmons  
#38 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 4:42:59 PM(UTC)
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Collins is obviously playing great. I attribute it to his learning and his supporting staff being MUCH better.
Offline pack_in_black  
#39 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 4:47:12 PM(UTC)
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Thank you Nick. I don't remember ever being that down on you, but thank you for moving from Role Player to Emerging Star. I will literally kiss you on the forehead....
Offline all_about_da_packers  
#40 Posted : Monday, October 20, 2008 4:56:52 PM(UTC)
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" said: Go to Quoted Post
Thank you Nick. I don't remember ever being that down on you, but thank you for moving from Role Player to Emerging Star. I will literally kiss you on the forehead....


Agreed, I thought you were a great last line of defence, but never imagined you would become the playmaker that you have.

I could literally kiss you on the lips, neck, chest....... you get the idea. :D
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