Landon Collins Opens Up About Second Chance With Giants

Landon Collins, Giants
NFL Analysis Network

The New York Giants picked up a huge victory over the Washington Commanders in Week 15, moving one step closer to clinching a playoff spot. The Giants are now 8-5-1, holding a 1.5-game lead over the teams chasing them in the standings.

Their defense came up big against the Commanders, making plays throughout the night. Keyvon Thibodeaux had the best game of his young career, recording 13 tackles with three tackles for loss and the pass rusher hat trick, registering a strip sack, recovering the fumble and returning it for a touchdown.

Week 15 also signaled the return of a familiar face to Big Blue’s defense as Landon Collins was back in the lineup for the first time since Week 8. Collins has been on the practice squad since early October but played a big role in the team’s victory over Washington.

It was a shrewd move by the Giants, as Collins spent the last three seasons in Washington after playing the first four of his career with the Giants. He likely was able to provide some insight to his teammate on how to slow down the Commanders’ offense, helping put together what ended up being a very strong game plan.

Collins, who was an All-Pro safety but has since been converted to linebacker, had three tackles in the game and saw his role increase on defense and special teams. It is something that he is grateful for, as his football career looked to be nearing the end earlier this season.

“Worked hard. Showed what I can do,” Collins said. “Getting that opportunity. That is the best part about it.”

Collins went unsigned this offseason after Washington released him. His tenure with the franchise was a rocky one as injuries derailed his career; Collins tore his Achilles in 2020 and injured his foot in 2021.

All of the hard work he put into learning a new position has been rewarded as the Giants signed him to their active roster this week. He will now be looking to help the team back to the postseason for the first time since 2016 when he was roaming the secondary in his All-Pro season.

“It’s exciting,” Collins said. “It’s exciting because now you get to really contribute. Now you get to make some plays for this team and make that run. The run is as big as it comes. This opportunity is a blessing and I’m thankful for it.”

This season has been all about setting a new tone and creating a better culture with the new regime of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, who both came over from the Buffalo Bills. Collins fits the mold of the kind of player they are looking for.

“Yeah, I think that’s what we look for — the type of guys we look for to bring into the organization,” Daboll said. “It’s not always going to be perfect. It’s never always going to go your way — come in with a good attitude, continue to work, continue to earn it.”

“And again, that’s not easy to do whether it’s Landon or a guy like [wide receiver Darius] Slayton. … There’s a mental toughness that you need to have to play this game, and it’s not just after a loss. Maybe it’s from play time; maybe it’s another thing that you got to keep pushing and keep a positive attitude. And he’s done that.”

To make room for Collins on the roster, Tae Crowder was released. He wasn’t away for long as Crowder re-signed with the team, taking Collins’ spot on the practice squad.