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.”
We could use both of them. Collins was a guy the Bears were interested in when he came out of college and so far it looks like he was a smart pickup. He's not a real big guy but he's been playing some NT and doing more than holding his own.
Price is the guy with the real upside if he can get past all of his personal turmoil and that horrific leg injury. Think Henry Melton v2.0. He's got really good upper body strength to go with a very quick first step and that combination is very hard to block. Paea has those same traits too. Price is a guy I don't think we want to let go.
I think we can put 5 DT's on the roster but only 4 will be active on any given Sunday. We really need 4 to keep a good rotation going and keep bringing pressure up the middle. You don't want to lose a savvy vet like "Toe" but at the same time don't turn away guys who are younger and have a higher ceiling.
Keep 5 DT's and just 4 DE's rather than the other way around but suit only 7 or 8 on Sundays.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap.
Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.