CLEVELAND — The Browns will be without one of their best players in linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. this weekend and for the remainder of the season.
But defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on Friday wanted to talk about Collins, who suffered an MCL injury last weekend in Detroit, the human being.
"What a great person," Williams said. "I think about him more than the production, development on defense. That bothers me more."
Williams, who has praised Collins in the past for things both on and off the field, grew somewhat sentimental when talking about the loss of the Pro Bowl linebacker and captain. Collins, a fifth-year player, was traded to Cleveland last season and re-signed with the team last winter. He had 31 tackles, a sack and an interception in six games.
Since taking over the Browns' defense in January, Williams has pointed to Collins as an important cog in a young but promising group. "I look at all of them – I told them all this week – like my sons," he said. Williams also intimated he's tough on Collins, who was a star for the Patriots when they won the Super Bowl in 2014, because he cares about him.
"When I stop caring is when I don't talk to you. That's just part of those type of things," he said. "I care about Jamie because you guys don't get to see behind the scenes, all the other little bitty things he does."
Williams praised Collins' leadership, attitude and awareness, which is "some of the best I've ever been around."
"Some (former Redskins safety) Sean Taylor type of awareness, and I've told you that is the best player I have ever coached," said Williams, who coached the late Taylor from 2004-07. "I worry about him."
Williams now hopes Collins joins fellow captain Joe Thomas, who suffered a season-ending triceps injury last month, as an extra set of eyes on the practice field.
"I'm going to turn him into a coach," he said with a smile, "and get him to help as much as he can around here once his knee settles down."