Landon Collins is the most decorated defensive player on the Giants and — brace yourself! — the longest-tenured projected starter for the unit. He could easily take the rest of the spring off recovering from a second surgery to fix a fractured forearm and show up for training camp secure in his place on the team.
But Collins is pushing to get back on the field with his teammates in next week’s minicamp instead. Why the urgency? It’s part of the new attitude he wants from the team . . . and himself. One in which everything must be earned.
“Don’t be lackadaisical, basically, as we were kind of last year, everybody was kind of set in stone, everybody knew who was going to be playing,” Collins said Monday after an OTA workout in which he participated in individual drills but no full team reps. “We‘re looking for accountability and knowing what you’re supposed to do, how you’re supposed to do it and when you’re supposed to do it.”
That includes, apparently, a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro like Collins.
“I’ve got to come in and say that I can learn this defense, even though I’m not on the field, and put it to the test,” he said. “And when I get my opportunity to show that I can do it, [prove] that me not being on the field is not slowing me down.”
The Giants made a few adjustments to their player rotations in practice on Monday in an effort to see more from the younger players on the roster.
“We had a real big personnel meeting last Thursday where we kind of just sat down and just talked organizationally about all of the players,” Pat Shurmur said. “I just felt like it was time to get a real good look at what we have with some of the younger players as we move forward . . . We’re seeing a lot good things from our front-line guys, but we felt like today was a good day to see what some of the younger, fresher-legged guys could do.”
Kicker Aldrick Rosas missed what was supposed to be his final field goal attempt of the practice but Shurmur stopped the workout and had him kick it again. Shurmur said it was like shooting hoops: “You never want to leave the court on a miss” . . . The Giants signed tight end Garrett Dickerson, who had been with them in rookie minicamp, and waived wide receiver Keeon Johnson along with defensive backs Jeremiah McKinnon and Mike Jones . . . Mark Koncz, who worked with the Giants front office on a temporary basis leading up to the draft, has been hired as the team’s full-time director of player personnel. Koncz worked with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman in a similar role when the two were with the Panthers.