Milt Collins making an impression

Another great read from Drew Edwards.

[url=http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/article/601713--newbie-collins-shows-off-his-skills-in-practice]http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/ar ... n-practice[/url]

He has 60 games in the CFL and a Grey Cup ring when he was the starting safety for Calgary in 2008.

This is a big upgrade on our defensive backfield. :thup:
[b]
Enter Collins, who joined the Ticats on Monday in a trade with Calgary and looks to be the odds-on favourite to replace the injured Ryan Hinds at safety when Hamilton travels to Toronto this Saturday. A receiver his entire high school and college career, it was Stampeders defensive backs coach Corey Chamblin — now the Ticat defensive co-ordinator — who decided Mills would be better off on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

“He had defensive back hands, not receiver hands,? Chamblin said with a laugh. “But he’s got some range and he can go get the ball.?

Collins, who was the starter at safety when the Stamps won a Grey Cup in 2008, said his experience as a pass catcher has helped him during his four years and 60 games in the CFL.

“Hands are part of it, but having been a receiver helps with the mental part of it, too, knowing which routes they like to run and what they’re trying to do,? Collins said.

The Collins-Chamblin connection was another motivating factor for manager Bob O’Billovich to make the trade, sending the rights to Canadian linebacker Jadon Wagner, a sixth-round draft pick in 2011, as well as a 2013 fourth-round pick to Calgary for the 26-year-old Collins. The Cats also get a fifth-round pick in 2013.

While Canadian talent is the lifeblood of any CFL franchise, O’Billovich said dealing a non-import for an American is worth it in this case.

“If I can trade a draft pick for a starting player, that doesn’t bother me at all,? O’Billovich said. “You get a proven player and draft picks are always an unknown.?[/b]