New York Giants Jerseys Landon Collins has set the bar as high as he possibly could.
When discussing career aspirations and his motivation on the football field, the Giants safety dropped the name of the player considered to be the best player in franchise history, the Pro Football Hall of Famer commonly referred to as the greatest defensive player in the NFL.
“I want to be Lawrence Taylor great,” Collins told The Record on Tuesday as the Giants began to prepare for their NFC wild card showdown against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday. “If the standard is wanting to be known as the best, known for being one of the best, you strive to beat the best or be known as the best. The best here is Lawrence Taylor. That name is still going around, you could go anywhere and he’s recognized for what he’s done on the field. A guy like him, I mean, the caliber of player he was, it’s astonishing. And you look up on the wall, you see the history, you see the plays that he’s made, you see him change the game. You want to be a game changer, too.
“He set the bar high for anybody that wants to be great.”
Collins has certainly raised the standard by which he is measured this season, his second in the league since the Giants traded up to the top of the second round and drafted him 20 months ago.
He is the only player in NFL history to finish a single regular season with 100 or more tackles (125), two or more sacks (4), five or more interceptions, and 12 or more passes defensed (13).
Collins can laugh now about how lost he was trying to find his way within defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s complicated scheme, especially for a rookie, as he started every game and logged more than 1,200 snaps — far too many of which he wished he had back.
Asked what his reaction would have been if he was told a year ago of his 2016 accomplishments in advance, Collins smiled before answering.
“I would have looked at you kinda awkwardly,” he said. “But I would say, at the same time, if you give me those goals, any goals that you want me to reach, I will try my best to reach them, and I will fight for that every day.”
Collins, who turns 23 next week, was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November.
He won back-to-back Defensive Player of the Week awards, the first player in Giants history to win the award in consecutive weeks. He has played his way into contention for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and while he remains somewhat of a long shot, his impact is undeniable.
“Every moment surprises me,” Collins said. “Every time I get a sack, every interception, every tackle for loss, every tackle, I want it to surprise me because I live for those moments. And when you live for moments like that, it’s astounding.”
The next moment for Collins – the Cheap nfl Jerseys biggest so far, he hopes – will come on Sunday inside Lambeau Field when the Giants defense takes on the challenge of trying to stop Rodgers.
Over the last seven games, Rodgers has thrown 18 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Between his talent and performance, Rodgers certainly has the Giants’ complete attention.
Collins calls the two-time league MVP Rodgers “a gold jacket guy,” with the former acknowledging he has Canton in his long-term sights as well.
“All-time goal was get that jacket,” Collins said. “That’s my life goal: to finish this game off and be a Hall of Famer. … Not just a Hall of Famer, I want to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Not third, fourth. No, I want to be first ballot. I want to be first to go in there. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Of Collins, Spagnuolo said recently: “I am glad that his aspirations are to be better than what he is. I remember when I used to recruit when I was in college, and I Cheap jersey wholesale used to try and find out the guy you are recruiting, what drove him. What is the most important thing to you right now? What are your goals? I am glad that the goal is high. Reach for the sky and see what you catch along the way.”
In that respect, Collins already knows exactly where he plans on being Feb. 5.
“Hopefully in Houston,” he said, referring to the site of Super Bowl LI. “That’s confidence talking. Not just me, but the confidence of our whole team.”