The NFL has been cracking down on helmet to helmet hits and guys are getting fined in the NFL on a weekly basis it seems. Nick Collins was the latest player that had to surrender $50,000 because of his hit on Dallas wide receiver Roy Williams. In the third quarter of a blowout, Williams was hit in the back of the head by Nick Collins on a play that looked like a helmet to helmet hit. And while Collins was doing his job as a defender and trying to keep Roy Williams from catching the ball, I thought the hit was unnecessary because the ball well was over the head of Williams and he had no chance to make a play on the football. While this hit wasn’t as bad as the hit Brandon Meriweather put on Todd Heap a few weeks back, it was definitely unnecessary roughness and it warranted the flag that was thrown and the fine that Collins received. Nick Collins needs to be careful because the next time he lays this kind of hit on a defenseless receiver, he will be out even more money and it might cost him a game or two as well.
Nick Collins joined ESPN Milwaukee with Homer to talk about being fined for his hit on Roy Williams, whether or not he thinks he deserved the fine that he got, whether or not he feels like he has to adjust his game to avoid penalties, fines, and suspensions, why he’s not upset about the fine like James Harrison was, and talks about who he thinks the MVP of the league is so far.
On being in the news lately for his hit on Roy Williams:
“It is what it is. It’s a sensitive issue right now in the NFL with them trying to protect players. Unfortunately we were on the big stage last night and I was that guy. I wasn’t trying to do it, but it happened. It was a bang, bang play so I will live with it and move forward.”
On having to adjust his style of play:
“That’s how I look at it. We’re gonna have to adjust. It’s gonna be difficult, but at the same time, we are professionals and we can do a nice job trying to work them in the best way we can. It’s not going to be easy. You have been taught from high school, college, and until now, you want to separate the receiver form the ball. You’re not trying to lead with your head but you also are taught to hit the guy with your face up.”
On whether or not the coaches have talked to the players about avoiding costly penalties:
“It’s hard for coaches to sit there and tell a guy to change the way they play. We are an aggressive team, we try to go out there and play hard within the rules. We’re not out there trying to hurt anybody. Unfortunately guys are coming up with concussions left and right. It’s a sensitive issue that we can’t control. You can get hit with your shoulder, you can get with a knee and still get a concussion if you get hit in the head. I just don’t know how it’s gonna play out. We’re professionals and we’re going to adjust to the best of our ability.”
Why he is not mad about getting fined:
“I can’t be mad at it because I know that they are trying to protect players and trying to make it a better game to watch and make it safer. At the end of the day I know I didn’t do anything wrong. I wasn’t trying to hit the guy in the head. As you watch the game, if he’s standing tall, the six foot four frame that he is I’m going down low on my target and unfortunately he was tripping and falling at the same time so I’m already down and it just happened. I just live with it and play on. I know how to play within the rules. I’m not a guy that’s looking to hurt anybody and I think the league knows that. I just play football.”
On Clay Matthews:
“It’s hard to put words together to describe this guy. This guy plays with so much energy and so much passion, he’s like the Energizer Bunny. He just has a knack for the quarterback. He knows how to get there and knows how to make plays when they count the most. This guy is having one of the greatest seasons so far. This first half he’s my MVP throughout the whole league. (Host: Offense or defense?) It doesn’t matter.”