Jamie Collins took a no-nonsense approach to his first interview with local reporters in Cleveland on Wednesday, and it was reflective of the way he plans to attack the final eight games of the season with his new team.
Collins, the Pro Bowl linebacker who was acquired Monday in a trade with the Patriots, said it took him about 10 minutes to process the transaction that brought him to Cleveland in exchange for a conditional draft pick. In his four years in the NFL, he's starred in a Super Bowl and played for one of the league's most winningest franchises. Now, he's tasked with providing a boost to a Browns team still searching for their first win.
It didn't take long to flip the switch.
"I have been there before. I mean I know how to handle situations," said Collins, who finished his college career on a winless Southern Miss team. "And situations occur all the time. So I mean I am up for the challenge and I have been there before, so it is really no big deal to me."
Collins was laughing and joking with his new teammates in the locker room after Wednesday's walk-through, and he said it was "a family around here" as he wrapped up a seven-minute interview at his new locker.
"You can talk to anyone around here," Collins said. "Any of these guys, they're close. You're going to feel welcome."
Take a look at the Browns practice on November 2.
That, Browns coach Hue Jackson said, is a testament to what's been flipped on its head since he was hired in January.
"I think culture switch here is real," Jackson said. "That is what we have worked extremely hard from our front office on down, to our coaching staff, to our players. I think that part we have done right. And I think Jamie will feel that from our players. And the next thing we need to do is get over our hump the other way and that is why he is here. He is here to help and assist that way. So it is a good opportunity for him and a good opportunity for us."
In his first 24 hours with the Browns, Collins has immersed himself in the playbook while meeting with Jackson, defensive coordinator Ray Horton and both of the team's linebacker coaches, Ryan Slowik (outside) and Johnny Holland (inside). Jackson expects the transition to be relatively smooth because of the similarities between New England's and Cleveland's defensive schemes.
Collins, much like the coaches and players who dole praise his way, lauds himself for the versatility he brings to a defense. New England's leading tackler in 2014 and 2015, Collins has been labeled by ESPN as a "monsterback," a term used to describe players that can be plugged into multiple spots at linebacker and even in the secondary.
"I try not to pinpoint one thing. I try to do a lot of stuff," Collins said. "I try to be as versatile as I can. I try to do whatever it is, not just one thing. I'm the type to do a lot of stuff.
"I'm the same person. I'm going to be the same person. It all comes back to me. I'm going to do what I got to do regardless of any situation. I'll always be me. Always."
Jackson said the Browns will put Collins in a place that "gives him the best chance to catch on quickly so that he can go and contribute to our defense." Immediacy is key for the Browns, who will continue their search for their first win Sunday against the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys at FirstEnergy Stadium.
"No one is beating themselves up, we just want to get it right," Jackson said. "He is part of the process to helping us get it right, so we welcome him with open arms. He is also letting us in, it goes both ways, and we are going to see if we can make this a good marriage as we move forward."