Lions plan to make better use of Jamie Collins’ versatility

The Lions are changing the look of their base defense to a 3-4 under new coordinator Aaron Glenn and that won’t be the only difference from the 2020 season.

Jamie Collins was almost always used as an off-ball linebacker during his first season in Detroit, which marked a departure from the way he was deployed by the Patriots in 2019. He often played on the line of scrimmage in New England and finished the season with seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Those numbers went down with the Lions, but Glenn has his eyes on expanding Collins’ role in the defense this time around.

“Man I’m excited about that player,” Glenn said, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “I go back and watch him when he was in New England and the different spots that he can play in. When you sit there and talk to Jamie, you realize how intelligent he is as a football player. So I have a number of ideas I want to do with him — put him as a stack backer, put him on the edge, maybe put him at the at zero technique and let him beat some of these centers that are slow-footed. Again, it goes back to the philosophy; versatility, versatility. So now, I can dictate, and that’s my plan.”

The Lions restructured Collins’ contract early this offseason in a move that points toward the 2021 season being his last one in Detroit. A more productive 2021 season in a new role could change that outlook, although it remains to be seen how Collins will take to the planned shift in Detroit.