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Behind the Facemask: Jed Collins

Posted Aug 15, 2012

Fans were able to submit questions for FB Jed Collins to the Saints Twitter account

NewOrleansSaints.com is giving fans an opportunity to submit their questions for their favorite players. Throughout training camp, the Saints will announce a selected player via the team’s Twitter account (@Saints) and fans will be able to reply with questions.

On Wednesday, fans were able to submit questions for FB Jed Collins.

Collins came in to the league as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and joined the Saints practice squad in 2010. Before coming to New Orleans, Collins spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Tennessee Titans, primarily on the practice squad. After the 2010 season, the converted college linebacker was able to win the starting fullback job in a training camp competition.

Collins only recorded 15 touches in 2011 while appearing in all 16 games. The former Washington State LB, FB, and TE only carried the ball four times for the Saints last season and gained four yards with two touchdowns. Collins also made 11 receptions for 50 yards and scored two more touchdowns receiving. His blocking played a key role in helping the New Orleans rushing attack improve from ranked 28th in the NFL in 2010 to sixth in the league in 2011.

What do you consider the most difficult part of playing the fullback position?

“It is a position of will over skill. You really have to be able to sacrifice comfort for the collision and that is something that has humbled me in knowing that it is a position that is not going to be a highlight real or be in the spotlight. It is a necessary spot and the running backs and the coaches really appreciate it.”

What is something about the position that the average fan wouldn’t pick up on?

“The quick reactions. There is such high intensity contact and collisions. You have to be able to understand what a defense is moving, how the offense is going to take care of it, and then predict where your running back is going to go. Everybody thinks dumb fullback, but it is definitely a position where you have to be very quick on your feet and be able to anticipate a lot of things.”

Do you have a favorite running back to block for on the team?

“With our stable of running backs, you really can’t pick a favorite. Obviously the experienced guys, Darren (Sproles) and Pierre (Thomas), make you look good. I talk to the linemen all the time about it. It is one of those positions that is completely feel and when they make your block look better, you appreciate that. The veteran guys really do that and then Mark (Ingram) and Chris (Ivory) run real hard so on third down and one, I would mind leading for one of those guys.”

What have seen different so far in the new defense?

“They seem more assignment-focused. They seem like they are understanding that defense is an 11-man game and as long as they are taking care of their responsibility, everybody else is going to fall in to line. The positive energy Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) puts off kind of vibrates throughout the guys and I really enjoy that.”

How much more comfortable are you this year in your role and in this locker room?

“Extremely. It is such a blessing being able to come back. This is the first time I have repeated training camp: this is the first time I have been at the same training camp. To have friends in the locker room, to have an understanding with the coaches, and then to just be comfortable in the system. I am, now, not worrying about my assignment but how to execute my assignment even better. I am a firm believer, after having bounced around so much, that being comfortable breeds confidence. The more and more comfortable I get, the better and better I will play.”

What is your game day routine?

“I usually wake up and have breakfast. If it is an early game, I will have some eggs, a piece of chicken, and I will split a waffle with Brian de la Puente, our center. Then, I will quickly glance at our first 15 (plays) and the plays that I will be in. I enjoy journaling so I will write down my thoughts on who we are playing, where I am in my life, and the preparation for the game. It is such a production that it is neat to see how my mindset changes week in and week out. Then I shower and before every game I take one lap around the field. I don’t touch the field yet, but I really enjoy and take in, if we are in a new stadium or at home in the dome, just a little moment to myself to enjoy living the dream that I get to experience every Sunday.”

What music do you listen to on game day?

“Yeah. I get made fun of a lot, mostly from Brian, but I am kind of an emo-music guy. I enjoy kind of like deep screaming sometimes. I like anything that will hit me or hit a chord and strike my emotions. Some of it is depressing but it all speaks to me in different ways.”

What about your music choice on other days?

“It is very different. I enjoy up-tempo music. My father and Joe Lombardi have gotten me more into Jazz music being down here. It has kind of opened my eyes into that. I really enjoy listening to some Jazz while I am reading and things. Then, I enjoy top 40’s hits. It is cliché and probably looked down upon in this locker room. Pop music on off-days, I like moving around and dancing and stuff like that so if I can move around and dancing and stuff like that so if I can sing along and dance to it, I will listen to it.”

What do you like to do when you are not working?

“I am an easy-going guy. I probably need to get more hobbies. I have really enjoyed reading. I read a lot. I read four or five books at a time, all kind of different topics. I enjoy journaling and writing and I hope, one day, to turn that into a hobby and a career. Mostly, when I am not playing football, this offseason, I took two of my courses for certification in financial planning. That is what takes up my offseason, studying. Having a good time and hanging out with friends is where I want to be.”

How excited are you to get back to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

“The dome is something that if you haven’t experienced it first person, you will never understand what it feels like. My first year here, I was on the practice squad and got to stand on the sideline and feel the energy and see everybody get excited. Now, getting to be on the field and actually take those vibrations and that energy and put it in to my performance it is a whole other world. It is definitely most exciting places to play. I am excited to get back in the dome and have some fun. We have a chance to do something very special.”

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