One of the more troubling storylines facing the Washington Football team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, has been Landon Collins' steep decline at strong safety.
Part of it can be attributed to inconsistent play at free safety, whether it's Troy Apke or Deshazor Everett. Some can go to the defensive line for not getting enough pressure as they were expected to entering the season. Another part of the blame can fall on the offense for failing to keep them off the field at times.
But Collins' play hasn't been good, and former Washington tight end Chris Cooley has taken notice. On 980 The Team's Kevin Sheehan show, Cooley was highly critical of the former All-Pro's performance so far this year.
"Landon Collins was a D [against Giants], more like a D-," Cooley said. "Landon Collins has been no better than a C- through this entire season. You have issues when your best player is not playing well enough. He's a big part of three or four of the nine total big plays they've given up this season."
To Cooley, the primary issue with Collins is his change in mentality on the field. Instead of reading the play as they happen and reacting to them at a Pro-Bowl level, he feels Collins is trying to diagnose plays ahead of time to try and make big plays.
As a result, the Washington secondary has been more or less a mess to begin the 2020 campaign.
"I would say, 'Landon you're a read and react player with really solid instincts when the ball is snapped and pretty exceptional athletic skills to go make plays. Stop trying to think you know what the offense is doing, you're not a playmaker. You just are getting fooled way too often,'" he said. "He's getting beat because he's trying to make plays, he's trying to know what they're doing on defense. Just read and react."
If Collins' problems on the field can be solved with a mentality change, then that'd be far better news for a Washington team that signed him to a six-year, $84 million deal in 2019.
Even so, when asked if he'd consider trading Collins at the trade deadline on November 3, Cooley said he yes.
"Yep, I would," he said.
And what could Washington get in return?
"A second [round pick], maybe."
20+ games and a trade couldn't have been what Washington imagined when they acquired such a talented safety over a year ago.