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Jamie Collins leading by example, 'shooting for greatness'

Jamie Collins is a leader for the Browns. Just don't try telling him that.

He won't call himself a leader even though he was voted a team captain last season; he believes it's not his responsibility or place to call himself that. To defensive players in Cleveland, though, he's looked a role model.

Collins has been to a Pro Bowl. He's won a Super Bowl. He was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2015. His body of work and stats speak for themselves; he's a leader for the defensive front with the Browns. But again, don't ask him to admit that.

"I would like to think so," Collins said about his leadership status. "But that's not for me to determine. I let other guys determine that. I don't call myself anything. I'm not that type of guy. I just do what I got to do. If guys follow, then they follow."

Collins didn't have the opportunity on the field much last season. He was sidelined for most of the season first with a concussion, then a knee injury. The knee injury — which came on a play in which he intercepted a pass — ended his season just a couple weeks after his return from the concussion. That's football. All in all, Collins only appeared in six games in 2017. It definitely wasn't enough for him.

Collins leads by example. He shows up to work, puts the work in and finishes his day. No screaming, no pep talks. Collins just uses his pedigree and past success, mixed with his performance, to fuel his mentorship.

"I'm out here every day," Collins said.

Now healthy, Collins can finally be on the practice field every day. He can get back to where he was before his injury. And his goal is simple: "To be better than I was yesterday."

This season, Collins' role may be altered for the Browns. With the addition of linebacker Mychal Kendricks, Collins is used as a hybrid of linebacker and defensive end. Collins doesn't care. To him, position is just a title. The goal is to get to the quarterback and stop the offense, so nothing changes for him.

He is, though, working with Myles Garrett. Both are becoming better pass rushers, and their relationship is strong. Whether it's defensive end or linebacker, Collins is OK as long as he's able to play.

"We're all just trying to push each other to become better," Collins said.

In a crowded linebacker room, versatility is part of the game. Along with his pass rushing ability — he has 13.5 career sacks — he can also drop back in coverage. He's got six career interceptions and 19 pass deflections. Collins doesn't much care what he's asked to do on the field, which makes him so valuable. He does what he's asked.

In Friday's scrimmage, Collins was asked to drop into coverage. Of course, he picked off a Baker Mayfield pass. On a different play, he deflected a pass intended for tight end David Njoku.

Whatever the coaching staff asks Collins to do this season, he'll do it. After all, that's how you lead by example.

"I'm shooting for greatness," Collins said.

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