In a league increasingly dominated by figures, numbers, and records, I thought I should give a shout out to Todd Collins.
A player who has maybe not had the Pro-Bowl career of contemporaries.
A player who will not be mentioned alongside the likes of Brady or Manning in decades to come.
But a player who is just as valuable, in terms of what he offers his side.
A player who is ready, willing, and able to step in at any time. But at the same time, isn’t putting pressure on the coach or starting quarterback for playing time.
Todd Collins has never been happy being a backup. It would be a mistake to think that. But at the same time, he values his team above everything, and respects the decisions of his head coach.
Todd Collins is the ultimate backup.
Drafted in the second round, in 1995, Collins was seen as the long term successor to the great Jim Kelly. Todd had an awful rookie season, however, and wasn’t given another chance.
He wasn't given another chance for a long time.
For seven years Collins backed up Elvis Grbac, Rich Gannon, and Trent Green at Kansas, before being signed by Washington in 2006.
Todd Collin’s career rating for Kansas City, when he did step in, was 104.25.
Todd Collin’s career completion percentage for Kansas City, when he stepped in, was 64%
Todd Collins was always ready, and always delivered, when needed.
Washington recognised what a valuable player Collins was, and payed big to get him on the roster as backup. In his three years at Fedex Field, he has only played four games.
But has never let the team down, when coming into games.
I read a story on Todd Collins the other day, involving his quarterback “rival” Jason Campbell.
Jason, having had to learn his seventh pass protection scheme in eight years, was having trouble in the '08 pre-season. He had quite simply forgot aspects of it. But, being the supposed franchise guy and team captain, he was too embarrassed to inform the offensive coordinator of this.
Having confided with Collins on the situation, Todd approached the coach, claiming he was the one who had forgotten it, and asked whether he could go through it again with the quarterback roster. Problem solved.
Asked why he helped out his positional rival to such an extent, Todd commented, “We perform much better as a side, when both of us guys are working together on the same team.”
This is a guy who watches this all from the sidelines, and doesn’t get to share in any of the glory of winning games.
Todd Collins earns $4 million a year, as a backup. Never has money been spent more wisely.