Gregg Williams: 'I'm a better coach when I have players like' Jamie Collins

Before Jamie Collins agreed to a new contract earlier this week, the Browns envisioned the linebacker as something of a defensive centerpiece.

It's probably safe to say new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams shares in that belief.

"I'm a better coach when I have players like that," Williams, chuckling, told 92.3 The Fan on Thursday.

"And I'm going to tell you this right now — I don't want to overstep my opinion right now — but he may be one of the better players I've had a chance to coach for a long time."

Collins and Cleveland agreed to a four-year extension on Monday, making him the first of the team's potential free agents to ink a deal. The move also means the Browns made good on an earlier vow to being "appropriately aggressive" this offseason in an effort to add and retain talent.

Collins, the 2015 Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion who was acquired via an October trade with the Patriots, should prove to have a significant role on Cleveland's defense going forward.

"I've got seven or eight guys that are in the Hall of Fame right now that I've already coached," Williams said.

"I affect a few things that he has to improve on, give him a little more tools in the toolbox to use in the right way in having checks and say in scheme on the field, buying into the culture from a leadership standpoint and having the right kind of example set every single day. I can't wait to get a chance to coach him. I can't wait. I'm so excited about signing him."

Williams said the Browns' commitment to making Collins part of their long-term future is evidence of a culture being built in Berea.

"We talk about the culture all the time, but the players that are on the team right now and the players that will be on the team right now, they want to see that we get it as an organization, that we get it as a coaching staff they want to see that we get it as a personnel department as keep the best guys," Williams said.

"Unless there are problems behaviorally, unless there are problems off the field, why don't you work hard to keep your own guys and I think this was a great message to our football team."

Now, the Browns are poised to make it pay on the field.

"(The players) have so much respect for Jamie, he's a positive influence on the team and is a really, really good football player," Williams said.

"I think that was a great message right as I came in the door."​

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