FOXBORO -- Jamie Collins refuses to seek the spotlight, even after dominating performances like the one he turned in on Thursday night. He was not spotted in the locker room following the 27-0 win over the Texans, but his teammates were happy to speak for him.
"Yeah if you watch the film he's everywhere except with the media," said corner Logan Ryan. "That's Jamie, man. You gotta love the guy. He's a beast. He does a little bit of everything really well. He's a great player."
Collins did a lot of everything in helping coach Bill Belichick's defense pitch a shutout in prime time: With Dont'a Hightower out, Collins ran the defensive huddle and served as defensive coordinator Matt Patricia's voice on the field; he was a factor in pass-coverage, picking off Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler in the second quarter as he roamed in the middle of the field; he was the team's top run-defender contributing on five different run stuffs over the course of the night; and he recorded some bone-rattling hits that set the tone for the entire unit.
"It can be a contagious thing, and Jamie’s an impact hitter," Belichick said in a conference call on Friday. "He’s got a lot of explosion, a lot of power. He can certainly deliver a solid blow, and he’s long, and he’s athletic, he has got good range. So yeah, he’s a good player. He brings a lot to our team both in his talents and also in his playing style and his aggressiveness and ability to do whatever we ask him to do.
"Whether that’s playing zone-coverage, playing man-coverage, rush the passer, play on the end of the line, play in the middle of the line. With Hightower out he’s had a lot of communication and play-calling responsibilities, and he has not only handled those well, but it hasn’t affected any other parts of his game that added responsibility."
Collins has been such a force at times that even his teammates are slack-jawed watching him go about his business. And when he's out of the locker room before reporters can get to him following a good game, those same teammates have no problem conveying their disbelief at his physical ability.
"Jamie Collins, he's a beast, man," said safety Duron Harmon. "I tell you what, I've seen a lot of football players play, and he's definitely one of my favorite players to just watch. You just get caught up sometimes seeing all the amazing stuff he does on the field, you just sit in awe. I'm so happy he's on my team, I'll tell you that."