EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Landon Collins said Wednesday that he has his eye on being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his playing days are done. First, though, the New York Giants are going to have to keep him away from Maria Spagnuolo’s banana pudding.
Maria Spagnuolo, wife of Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, is famous around the Giants’ facility for sending her hubby to practice with home made goodies. Collins has been steadfastly trying to stay away from the sweets, dropping from 228 pounds to about 215 last year, partially because he cut out Oreo cookies from his diet.
Collins, though, could not stay away from the banana pudding earlier this week.
“He is still eating Maria’s banana pudding though because we brought some yesterday and he probably walked out with a whole tray,” Spagnuolo said on Wednesday.
Collins sheepishly admitted that he was even getting dirty looks from head coach Ben McAdoo because he couldn’t resist the pudding.
“I had two of them, I kind of shared those with the team,” Collins said. “I was about to take the pan. Can’t bring sweets around me.”
In all seriousness, though, Collins is serious about his weight. He has added a couple of pounds since last season, saying he is currently between 218 and 220 pounds. He said, though, that he would like to play at 210 pounds this season — a weight he hasn’t been at since his freshman year at Alabama.
“I’m going to try. I don’t know if it’s possible for me right now,” Collins said. “It’s a lot of muscle I’m probably going to have to lose, but if not, around 215.”
Collins was also quite serious about the Hall of Fame.
“My ultimate goal is to wear that yellow jacket at the end of the day, that gold jacket,” Collins said. “At the end of the day, at the end of my career, that is my goal.”
Collins was named All-Pro last season and was third in the Defensive Player of the Year balloting. Next, he’d like to overtake Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks — with whom he is friends — for the title of best safety in the NFL.
Collins said that during a camp Thomas ran last year he asked several NFL safeties who was going to take his title as the league’s top safety and Collins told Thomas he was “going to come and get it.”
“I am very driven. I watch guys like Eric Berry, I watch guys like Earl Thomas, I watch guys like Kam Chancellor those guys have terrific seasons each and every year. They build on top of their great seasons that they have and their work ethic is phenomenal,” Collins said. “The mindset that he (Thomas) has is different than anybody that I have talked to. The mindset I want to have is just like him. You’ve just got to do that.”
Giants’ safeties coach Dave Merritt said last week that on a scale of 1-10 Collins played at about a a “7” last season and “has room to grow.”
“I want to be a 10. I work on being a 10 and I feel like I could be a little bit better. I would say I am a 7, too. There are a lot of things I could work on and I was nitpicking and watching my film myself, and watch my film by myself, there are a few things I know I could be better at myself and I am definitely going to work on it this year and this offseason,” Collins said.
“I talked to coach Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] about different things and he asked me what I was going to work on in this offseason and I said the main thing I really wanted to work on was reading my keys and being able to recognize plays way faster than I did last year, and just muscling down. Things like that, and being able to run around the field and make plays that is the biggest thing and my biggest key.”
Collins is headed in the right direction. Provided, of course, he stays away from Maria Spagnuolo’s sweets.