The Washington Football Team made a sizeable change on defense over the past two games, moving safety Landon Collins up into the box to play more of a hybrid safety/linebacker role. This was especially evident during Sunday's game against the Chiefs.
On Wednesday, Ron Rivera addressed moving Collins closer to the line of scrimmage, telling reporters he's more of an impact player in that role.
"I think a lot of it's perception and expectations," Rivera said of the many criticisms of Collins' play this season. "But you watch the way he played last week, you watch the things that he did, his physicality, the plays he helped make in the game. And as I said the other day, he has a good role, and the role we used him in is I think something we feel very strongly about his abilities."
"You know, he's a downhill, attacking style of player and we've got to make sure we're putting him in position to have success for us," he said. "A great example was when they ran that reverse. He was down in the box, he saw it coming. He got outside the contain, turned it back inside and was part of the pile-up that helped create the takeaway.
"And those are the things that he flashes and shows that he's capable of doing. That's why, going into last week's game, based on the matchups we felt strongly about playing him up in the box."
It hasn't been a flawless transition. Collins still struggles when he has to drop back into coverage.