Patriots

Jamie Collins isn't looking back at why Patriots traded him to Browns

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Jamie Collins isn't looking back at why Patriots traded him to Browns

FOXBORO – Jamie Collins was never a guy who was going to lay his soul bare during his first go-round with the Patriots. So it wasn’t surprising that, in our first chance to speak with him since rejoining the team, he was nice enough but all about business.

“Another day on the job,” Collins said when asked about being back in familiar surroundings. “Just get out here and do what I get paid to do and that’s play football and do it to the best of my ability.”

Wearing a navy blue practice jersey No. 8 with a red hoodie underneath, Collins is back with the team that traded him away in October of 2016.

The main reason he was dealt was the team and Collins weren’t heading toward a contract extension. The Patriots got something back for him before he left in free agency. But in the short-term, Collins also hadn’t been playing well.

Asked if there was any strained feeling with the team as he returns, Collins batted the notion aside.

“I mean, it was just a change of destination, man,” he said. “I’m a professional and just have to be professional about the business. Business is business. You can’t get upset or do this or do that. I just tried to pick up where I left and move on. Take it to the next space no matter where it’s at.”

Was it an easy choice?

“It’s not just about me, man,” he replied. “I’ve got a family. I’ve got a wife and kids. I’ve always got to think about them as well. I can’t just make decisions based on myself."

There’s not much to be gleaned from an OTA practice even when the offense and defense are scrimmaging 11-on-11. There’s no forceful contact on blocks, there’s no touching the running backs and the defensive backs normally yield and don’t challenge receivers too actively. What you can gauge are things like speed and interactions.

Collins’ ability to cover massive amounts of land in a short period of time remains intact. There was one “blitz” situation when the Patriots sent probably six rushers in 11-on-11. Collins, coming from the second level, ducked through the offensive line and just materialized next to Brian Hoyer. It was confirmation of the explosiveness.

Reunited with Dont’a Hightower and now playing under inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Collins brightened when asked about both men.

“It’s cool. It’s pretty cool. That’s like my big bro,” Collins said of Hightower. “It’s bigger than football.”

As for Mayo?

“It’s even more fun with that guy being our coach,” he said. “Like I said, it’s all business. You still got to do your job. You still got to handle your business and do it to the best of your ability. You can’t just be out here, ‘oh, it’s my boy, it’s my boy.’ We still got a job. Each and everyone has a job, so we all got to be professional and then we can handle our business later.”

Collins spent more than two months as a free agent after the Browns released him on March 6 to dodge his large salary cap hit. He re-signed with the Patriots for a $1.05M salary and just $250K guaranteed. He can make as much as $5M if hits every incentive.

“I started here,” he said when asked if familiarity played a role. “I had the opportunity to come out and start my career here. Obviously yes, that played a big factor. Like I said, whatever the opportunity is, presents itself, it’s not just me. I’ve got other people to think about. It’s a team thing.”

Collins wasn’t delving deep into his Cleveland experience except to say that what he learned was, “To do my job. Never put my head down. Don’t stop. Just keep going. It’s a business, man. I can’t fold. I can’t give up. It’s not just about me. I can’t give up. I’ve got to keep pushing no matter what.”

As for looking back at Halloween, 2016?

“No, man. It happened. I don’t live in the past. I keep pushing to do my thing and keep going.”

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Quick Slants The Podcast: Tom E. Curran politely questions Chris Simms on his ABSURD ranking of Tom Brady

Quick Slants The Podcast: Tom E. Curran politely questions Chris Simms on his ABSURD ranking of Tom Brady

NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms ranks Tom Brady No. 9 - yes, ninth, among current quarterbacks. Tom E. Curran - very politely - demands an explanation.

3:00 - Chris Simms breaks down why he ranked Tom Brady as the ninth-best QB in the NFL right now.

4:00 - Why is Patrick Mahomes ranked higher than Tom Brady?

8:30 - Tom and Chris debate whether it is Bill Belichick or Tom Brady who makes the Patriots successful.

10:00 - How is Matt Ryan ahead of Brady in Simms’ list?

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE: 

https://link.chtbl.com/1rxUUlvD

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Friendship with O'Brien reportedly a big part of Caserio's attraction to Texans

Friendship with O'Brien reportedly a big part of Caserio's attraction to Texans

The apparent tug of war between the Patriots and Texans over Nick Caserio appears - for now - to have gone the Pats' way.

While the Texans keep the seat warm for the Patriots director of player personnel, and Bill Belichick's right-hand man, to finish out his contract that ends after the 2020 draft, there's been speculation a trade could be worked out that would allow Caserio to become GM in Houston.

Our Tom E. Curran notes that the Pats' asking price would have to be a first-rounder and that would seem to be a non-starter for the Texans.  

The driving force behind Caserio's desire to work for the Texans, who also sought permission to talk to him a year earlier but were denied by the Patriots, is his close relationship with Houston coach and former Pats offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, The Boston Globe's Chris Gasper reports.

According to Gasper, Caserio and O'Brien's "friendship extends well beyond football." That relationship and the opportunity to be the boss have Caserio, 43, intrigued by the Texans.

More from Gasper's column:

“It was a chance to work with his buddy, and finally have a chance to run the building,” said a source with knowledge of Caserio’s situation. “He told Belichick he’s super grateful for every opportunity he’s been given. But it would be absurd to request that [Houston-type] opportunity there, and he never would.

“Based on age, at some point, he’ll be given the opportunity. I think he would love that. I think he knows to not desire it or request it in New England because of the gentleman he reports to. If Coach wants to make it 10 more years, maybe he will."

This same source told Gasper that Caserio, Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft held a clear-the-air session after the Texans backed off their pursuit and the focus is on the season ahead: “It was a tough week and a half, but I’m certain it’s behind all parties, or at least it seems to be."

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