10

February

Nick Collins: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers Safety Nick Collins

Nick Collins

1) Introduction: Over the last two and half decades, the number 36 has been kind to the safety position in Green Bay. LeRoy Butler was an All-Pro wearing the number during the Packers’ run in the 1990′s, and Nick Collins has now established himself as one of the NFL’s top game-breakers at the position with the same two digits. In six seasons leading into 2011, Collins amassed 22 interceptions, six defensive touchdowns and three Pro Bowl appearances.

2) Profile:

Nick Collins

Position: S
Height: 5-11
Weight: 207 lbs.
AGE: 28

Career Stats:

 

3) Expectations coming into the season: High. Collins was a Pro Bowler in each of the last three seasons (2008-10) and was expected to continue an All-Pro level of play at the backend of the Packers defense. There was nothing to suggest a drop off in production for a 28-year-old in his football prime.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: There wasn’t many on either end. On Collins’ 132nd snap of the season in Carolina, an attempted tackle on a leaping Jonathan Stewart resulted in a neck injury that would require a season-ending cervical fusion. It is a similar procedure to the one that knocked Peyton Manning out for the entire 2011 season. During the two games Collins did play, however, the Packers gave up over 400 yards passing to both Drew Brees and Cam Newton.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: The injury cut Collins’ season short after just two weeks, and it was painfully obvious from that point on how much the Packers secondary missed his presence. Collins was a leader who the cornerbacks trusted to cover up mistakes and gambles. While Collins’ two games weren’t pretty in pass defense, there’s no way the Packers wouldn’t have been better off with their Pro Bowl safety playing 16 games. Despite successful surgery, Collins’ future in the NFL is now in jeopardy. We’ll know sometime in March if he can ever play again.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Collins was put on IR before Week 3.

 

Season Report Card:

(Inc) Level of expectations met during the season
(Inc) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: Incomplete

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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12 Responses to “Nick Collins: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card”

  1. Ron LC says:

    In the few games that Collins played in the Packer defense, it was just as crappy as it was at the end of the year. The question is would Nick have been able to get the communication under control and make a real diference in the remainder of the season. I am leaning toward saying yes he would have. However, that’s mostly emotion speaking.

    A detailed review of the total defense must be performed. And solutions developed by the start of Training Camp. It looks like Nick has a very good chance of returning. That’s one good thing now let’s get the Dline, LB and DB dpeth issues resolved.

    Bring on 2012. Go Pack.

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    • JimR_in_DC says:

      Ron’s comments just reinforce a nagging feeling that I’ve had that a good deal of what was wrong with our defense this past year was coaching-related.

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  2. Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

    I’m wondering how much Morgan Burnett was affected by the lack of an offseason. Not to mention the other second-year guys on the defense like Sam Shields and Frank Zombo.

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  3. Dan says:

    Here’s to a great recover for Nick and our D……Go Pack,……is anyone else having football withdraws?

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  4. Zack says:

    Does anyone else feel that the lock out hurt the Packers Defense… perhaps even more than most other teams in the league? We lost Cullen Jenkins and Nick Collins (granted those are big pieces to the puzzle that were missing this year) but all in all I thought that we had a good return on starters of whom seemed to have proven themselves as capable in previous years. I can say with confidence that we were much healthier this year than we were last year. I mean, Dom Capers has served us extremely well in the past, what if the lock out had more of an effect on our execution than it did on other teams? When JimR says that coaching is the problem, I don’t know how true that is… I’m not trying to make excuses for the staff and I’m not even saying that you are wrong. I’m simply saying that there are unquantifiable factors that came to play in a very strange year and jumping to conclusions in search of scape goats is not the answer. If we have a repeat problem with bad tackling and blown coverages and so on and so forth in this coming year after coaches have a full training camp, then obviously I would be more inclined to side with JimR but not based on this season alone. I’d go as far to say that if you want to blame anyone it seemed like some of the defensive players seemed to play with an apathetic demeanor (Peprah, Shields, Hawk, ETC.) in the playoff game against the Giants. They seemed to have no sense of urgency and didn’t seem to really care if they won or lost. It pissed me off and I’m sure it pissed alot of you guys off too. Now for the regular season, NC’s absense was felt obviously but I’m not sure if he was there how much good it would have done. It doesn’t matter how good your db’s are if the qb has all day to throw. it’s impossible to give a fair assessment of the secondary without a reasonable pass rush. If we had the same success as we had last year at rushing the QB, who’s to say that we wouldn’t have had an all pro secondary even without Nick Collins? at the same time, if last year the pass rush was as lousy as it was this year who’s to say that the secondary wouldn’t have crumbled like dry bread?

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I can’t subscribe to the theory that the lockout hurt GB more than other teams. EVERY team has it;s issues that need to get worked out during off season practices. Every team was affected.

      As for Collins, his loss had multiple effects. he wasn’t there behind Shields and next to Burnett or Peprah to guide them and make sure they are in the right places and doing the right things. Shields, Burnett and Peprah were on their own, so to speak, and the results were not that pretty. Add in the total lack of a pass rush and it’s a disaster scenario for inexperienced or marginal players in the secondary. Hell, it even affected Tramon.

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      • JimR_in_DC says:

        Al, they were not doing a very good job in the early part of the season, when Collins was still on the field. I have to think the problem is coaching.

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      • Zack says:

        That supports my point al. Not you or me or anyone else can say for sure that any one team suffered more from the lockout then another… thus my statement that there are UNQUANTIFIABLE factors in a very strange year that make me unable to fall into the belief that coaches are responsible based on this season alone… I can say that I THINK that the packers suffered more because of the evidence. We lost 1 major starter from last season (cullen jenkins) and collins got hurt (but the games that he played were equally as bad as the games that he missed). We went from being one of the top 5 defenses (when we had a full off season to prepare) not to mention being top ranked in the previous years, to being 32nd on defense in one season (the year of the lockout). subscribe to the point or not that maybe the packers did hurt more from a short camp than most other teams, no one can make a legit argument to me that the coaches are responsible based on this season alone, especially after many years of being a top ranked defense when we had full off seasons to prepare.

        As far as the secondary not having veteran players to guide them… I have to completely disagree. Woodson and Tramon Williams were there. If collins missing had such a huge effect, why did we give up 400+ yards the games that he played? I didn’t see much of a difference…. Which is why I said that the major issue this year is our pass rush. it is impossible to fairly rate a secondary without a decent pass rush. If collins were playing and the opposing qb has 9-15 seconds to throw the ball every time he drops back to pass, sorry to say but it doesn’t matter how good collins is, he will not have an effect. I would also like to add that, again it’s impossible to say for sure, but I THINK that our secondary may have played satisfactorily, overall, if we had any kind of pass rush.

        The moral of the story is that you can fill a secondary with the most legendary players at every position and if the qb has basically an unlimited amount of time to throw there will be a historic amount of passing yards given up throughout the year, therefore collins would have had little effect had he played this year so his absense had minimal effect on our success (or lack there of when it comes to the playoffs). I would say the loss of cullen jenkins and the complete failure of anyone else to step up in his absense were felt much more.

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  5. Zack says:

    That supports my point al. Not you or me or anyone else can say for sure that any one team suffered more from the lockout then another… thus my statement that there are UNQUANTIFIABLE factors in a very strange year that make me unable to fall into the belief that coaches are responsible based on this season alone… I can say that I THINK that the packers suffered more because of the evidence. We lost 1 major starter from last season (cullen jenkins) and collins got hurt (but the games that he played were equally as bad as the games that he missed). We went from being one of the top 5 defenses (when we had a full off season to prepare) not to mention being top ranked in the previous years, to being 32nd on defense in one season (the year of the lockout). subscribe to the point or not that maybe the packers did hurt more from a short camp than most other teams, no one can make a legit argument to me that the coaches are responsible based on this season alone, especially after many years of being a top ranked defense when we had full off seasons to prepare.

    As far as the secondary not having veteran players to guide them… I have to completely disagree. Woodson and Tramon Williams were there. If collins missing had such a huge effect, why did we give up 400+ yards the games that he played? I didn’t see much of a difference…. Which is why I said that the major issue this year is our pass rush. it is impossible to fairly rate a secondary without a decent pass rush. If collins were playing and the opposing qb has 9-15 seconds to throw the ball every time he drops back to pass, sorry to say but it doesn’t matter how good collins is, he will not have an effect. I would also like to add that, again it’s impossible to say for sure, but I THINK that our secondary may have played satisfactorily, overall, if we had any kind of pass rush.

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  6. Zack says:

    The moral of the story is that you can fill a secondary with the most legendary players at every position and if the qb has basically an unlimited amount of time to throw there will be a historic amount of passing yards given up throughout the year, therefore collins would have had little effect had he played this year so his absense had minimal effect on our success (or lack there of when it comes to the playoffs). I would say the loss of cullen jenkins and the complete failure of anyone else to step up in his absense were felt much more.

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  7. Zack says:

    Sorry for the repeat. Weird stuff going on with posting

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