Collins hoping to make impact in return to N.Y.
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter
12:10 p.m. CDT, August 21, 2012
It will be a homecoming of sorts Friday for defensive tackle Nate Collins when the Chicago Bears visit the New York Giants for a preseason game at MetLife Stadium.
Collins, a Westchester, N.Y., native, spent part of the 2010 season on the practice squad of the Giants and remains close with receiver Victor Cruz, who is from New Jersey.
The Bears continue to look for help in the rotation at defensive tackle and will get another long look at candidates Friday with Stephen Paea still sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
Collins had a sack in the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos and followed up with four tackles, including a stop for a loss, in the 33-31 victory over the Washington Redskins on Saturday night at Soldier Field.
Collins got time with the starters in the rotation and is pushing for a spot on the 53-man roster with Brian Price, the former second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who was acquired in a trade.
“Did all right,” Collins said. “I felt like a few opportunities passed me up for 1-on-1’s in there but I feel like I played pretty good in the run game and was active, was able to get a few tackles. I feel like everything is coming together. I want to be known as a pass rusher so I’ve got to work on when you get those 1-on-1’s just taking advantage of it.
“You don’t really get 1-on-1’s too much in a game, especially in the middle, and I felt like I got more than enough and I didn’t really capitalize on it. Just working on getting better and I’ve got another chance this week.”
Cruz is helping Collins secure a large number of tickets to the game for family and friends. They were roommates during Giants training camp in 2010 and are co-owners of a clothing line they designed called Young Whales.
“His big season last year helped out with that, too,” Collins said.
Now, the Virginia product would like to make a name for himself on the field.
“It will be good to go against some of those guys I used to always go against in practice and you’re kind of like the dummy,” Collins said. “It’ll be good to go in there and get a chance to really play and compete and see what I can do.”