Collins ‘getting more comfortable’ as Tide’s free safety
The 6-foot, 215-pound sophomore has been pressed into seeing more Saturday game action at free safety the past two weeks after the indefinite suspension of starter Ha Ha Clinton-Dix a few days prior to the Georgia State game on Oct. 5.
Collins logged two tackles and a tackle for loss against Georgia State and then recorded two more tackles against a higher caliber opponent — Kentucky — last Saturday. More importantly, Collins and the rest of the Bama D have yielded just one touchdown in the last two games — more testament that Collins has been doing his job of keeping opposing offenses from producing explosive plays, particularly in the passing game.
“Landon is getting more and more comfortable playing the position,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said this week. “He certainly made improvement in (the Kentucky) game. I think (it’s important) he’s certain of what he’s doing — not just his assignments, because I think he knows his assignments — but I’m talking about having enough repetitions at the position to feel confident about what he’s seeing and how he’s supposed to react and where he’s supposed to go. He plays very fast and is very effective, and we’d like to get where it’s happening for him on a consistent basis. I think that that’s only going to happen through more repetitions and more knowledge and experience in terms of playing the position every day.”
As far as Clinton-Dix, Saban said this week there is nothing to report on his status or his possible reinstatement to the team. The junior has been continuing to practice with the team, however.
“I think he’s done as good a job in terms of practice and continuing to improve and working in practice on the scout team as anyone could,” Saban said. “I’m sure it’s a difficult circumstance. Nobody that is a true competitor likes not to be there for his teammates. And Ha Ha has been that kind of player for us.
“But, also, there’s the point that you’ve got to make good choices and decisions about what you do. And when you don’t do the right things there are consequences that we all have to suffer through. Hopefully, this will be a great learning experience for not only Ha Ha but for each and every player on the team.”
Collins and the rest of the top-ranked Crimson Tide will host Arkansas Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CDT. ESPN will televise the game.
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