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SNY- Manny Collins impressed Eric last week


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Collins hoping to seize the moment

Rutgers CB, undrafted, but intent on impressing Mangini

By Dylan Butler / SNY.tv

Manny Collins impressed Eric Mangini with his play on Friday night. (AP)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The phone call Manny Collins was waiting two months to get finally came two weeks ago. It was a Tuesday at 10 a.m. and the former cornerback at Rutgers University had just been signed by the New York Jets.

Collins listened to what the man on the other line had to say, hung up the phone and then called him right back.

"I thought it was a prank phone call initially," Collins said.

No joke. After being passed up in the NFL Draft, Collins became the eighth former Rutgers player to be signed to an NFL contract a week ago.

"If they're going to give me an opportunity, it's up to me to seize it," Collins said. "It's up to me to take advantage of it."

And Collins was on the field for the Jets in their preseason opener Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons at the Meadowlands.

"It was a big-time experience," Collins said. "The game moved a little bit faster than college football so that was the main thing getting used to."

The reality set in for Collins, who wore No. 35 for Gang Green, just before the start of the game.

"Coming out of the tunnel initially just looking around was a real good feeling," he said. "I felt real good."

Collins finally stepped on the field at the start of the second quarter. He made three tackles, including one on special teams. Perhaps most importantly, he's impressed Jets coach Eric Mangini from the day he arrived in Hempstead.

Because of a variety of injuries to the defensive secondary, including a hamstring injury to Justin Miller and first-round draft pick Darrelle Revis' ongoing contract dispute, Mangini needed help and called on Collins.

"Manny is a guy who was brought in late and right away, the first day, because of an injury situation," Mangini said. "He got thrust right in there, no meetings, no previous practice and he popped up on film. That's what we are looking for, where he is coming off the street, has an opportunity, comes to practice and shows up. That's what we will be continuing to look for as he gets more information, more familiar with the system and he continues to show up."

Dylan Butler is a regular contributor to SNY.tv.

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With the injuries to Coleman and Miller, he's been getting a LOT of reps this week, so i expect to see him on the field quite a bit tonite along with the other DB longshot, James Ihedegbo (if i mispelled his name would you know the difference LOL)

"It was a big-time experience," Collins said. "The game moved a little bit faster than college football so that was the main thing getting used to."

That's been the most obvious thing i have noticed in tc. he still has to get used to the speed of these guys he is playing with. You're not in the Big East anymore, Manny! Good luck to both of them tonite.

Ihedegbo= #44

Collins=#35

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With the injuries to Coleman and Miller, he's been getting a LOT of reps this week, so i expect to see him on the field quite a bit tonite along with the other DB longshot, James Ihedegbo (if i mispelled his name would you know the difference LOL)

That's been the most obvious thing i have noticed in tc. he still has to get used to the speed of these guys he is playing with. You're not in the Big East anymore, Manny! Good luck to both of them tonite.

Ihedegbo= #44

Collins=#35

I was very impressed with #44 last week. He has alot of speed and is always around the ball. That is a tough name to spell! lol

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I was very impressed with #44 last week. He has alot of speed and is always around the ball. That is a tough name to spell! lol

Very tough to spell lol

He also has good size- he's in SHAPE, mon. hopefully Iggy will be able to play to a higher level when the speed increase from tc to preseason game.. This guy is a solid 6'2" 203.

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