As players take their final breaks before training camp, we take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.
Next up All-Pro safety Landon Collins.
1. Collins joins some of his former teammates.
Landon Collins was one of the biggest names in free agency for the 2019 season. When he signed a six-year deal with the Redskins in mid-March, he joined a list of players that have played for New York.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie spent four out of his 12 seasons with the New York Giants. Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers also spent four seasons with the Giants from 2015 until being released in 2018.
“I think it’s going to be special,” said Collins when asked about playing against the Giants later in the season.
The Redskins are scheduled to face the Giants in New Jersey in Week 4. Their second meeting will be in Week 16 at home just before Christmas.
Collins said the two games are circled in extra red on the schedule, as he looks forward to facing off against his former team. “I don’t feel like I bleed blue anymore.” Collins assured.
“It's fun to look at him over there instead of playing against him with the New York Giants all the time," head coach Jay Gruden said. "He’s a good guy to have out there."
2. Collins was a standout track and field star.
While attending Dutchtown High School in Louisiana, Collins was regarded as an exceptional two-sport athlete. He was one of the top sprinters in the state, specializing in the 4x100-meter relay and the 100- and 200-meter dash. He broke the 4x100-meter school record, along with a personal record of 10.28 seconds in the 100-meter dash.
3. The Redskins coaching staff deemed Collins as a reliable leader for the secondary.
Collins only turned 25 this past January, but he is already being touted as one of the team’s leaders coming into the season.
Gruden feels comfortable knowing there’s stability at the strong safety position after years of unpredictability.
"We have a tone-setter in Landon Collins that can help stop the run, obviously, and be an impact player for us in the secondary,” Gruden continued.
Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky also commended Collins on his dedication to learning the ins-and-outs of a new defensive system in Washington.
“He asks a lot of questions, does a great job of trying to figure out exactly what we’re doing and his vision points and stuff on the field. We’re excited to have him out on the field.”
4. Collins is actively involved in the community after going through tragedy during Hurricane Katrina.
Collins was only in elementary school when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. He recalls the devastation in an interview with Madison Square Garden Network that caused him and his family to relocate and eventually settle in Geismar, Louisiana.
“We lost our house -- it was split in half. One part of the house was on the football field and the other half was two or three miles down the road.” Collins explained.
“I learned a lot from that situation. It bothered me, what happened down in New Orleans. It was hard to see.”
Since his time with the Giants, Collins has made it a point to give back and make a difference. In 2017, he started the “Landon Collins Celebrity Softball Game," which consisted of a softball and a dodgeball game along with a home run derby. Part of the proceeds went to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, which provides support for families fighting childhood cancer.
Just last week, Collins hosted “Bowl with the Pros” in Lakeway, Texas. The event aims to raise money and bring awareness to The Fair Catch Foundation and The Kenny Vaccaro Foundation. Proceeds also went to The Blessed Hope Project and Austin Charities.
“I love to give back and help out and be a part of charity for kids and try to change the world,” Collins stated. “It’s definitely a part of my life.”
5. Jonathan Allen is a big fan of Collins.
Defensive end Jonathan Allen and Collins spent some years together back at the University of Alabama. Collins left to enter the NFL draft after his junior season while Allen decided to stay all four years.
Allen described Collins as an “alpha male” when it came to his physical ability and his football IQ.
“He is going to do it right and do it physical," Allen said. "I love the way he comes up and plays inside the box. He can reach across the field and make plays all over. He is an all-around safety and I am glad he is on our team."
6. Collins and Josh Norman are big fans of each other.
Norman and Collins have been familiar with each other during their time in the NFL, mostly because they are both signed to the same agency. But when Collins signed with the Redskins, the bond between the two defensive backs grew.
"The way he can just come down in the box and fold guys over, its amazing.” Norman said about Collins on "Redskins Nation" during minicamp.
Though they have yet to play together, they already have established camaraderie off the field. Collins attended Norman’s Annual Celebrity Basketball Game back in April.
“[Norman’s] a humble guy, always willing to give back," Collins said at the event.
7. Collins idolizes former Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
Collins has always been an avid Sean Taylor fan. Taylor, who was killed at the age of 24 during a home robbery back in 2007, wore the No. 21 during his time with the Redskins.
Collins even switched his number when he was with New York from No. 27 to No. 21 to honor Taylor. Collins also wore No. 26 at Alabama because Taylor wore that number at the University of Miami.
When Collins signed with Washington, there was talk of him potentially wearing Taylor's No. 21. The two sides ultimately decided against it, but Collins did receive a signed Sean Taylor jersey courtesy of Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
“I instantly broke down. Straight into tears,” Collins said. “But it was an honor.”