ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ young LB duo of Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons close on and off field

Aug 9, 2021, 4:34 PM

GLENDALE — When the Cardinals drafted linebacker Zaven Collins in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the rookie’s introductory press conference was quick to make the NFL rounds thanks to his odd metaphors and phrases.

So once Collins made his trek to the Valley, he already had quite the reputation with teammate Isaiah Simmons.

“I actually told Zaven this, I didn’t think me and him were gonna be good friends when he first got here,” Simmons said Thursday. “I thought he was gonna be a weirdo, but turns out we’re really good friends.”

Collins remembered the initial exchange a little differently.

“I think he first described it to me as being a square, whatever that means,” Collins said Monday. “Me and Isaiah are good friends, we have dinners all the time together. We hang out as much as we can when we can. We’re next to each other all the time in meeting rooms, film rooms, especially now, we’re with the team 24/7. … and even the weekends we’re always together.”

That friendship off the field can only help the duo as they embark on their first season together as the team’s starting inside linebackers.

All signs point to the rookie gaining his traction as the defense’s quarterback, with numerous coaches and players remarking on his progression so far this camp.

But that’s not to say there still aren’t some growing pains as game speed ramps up ahead of Friday night’s preseason matchup against the Cowboys.

“During the training and OTA camps that is one thing and then you get into training camp like here we are now, you’re install, install, install, install and guys are running like their hairs are on fire so everyone’s looking at you to get that call out to them,” Collins said.

“There’s been issues but just got to roll through them but it is day and night from what it was when we first got here and now because of the speed of the game and all that. It’s something that I love and love having that weight on my shoulders. I think it’s going good so far.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) celebrates after he intercetped a pass...
Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers breeze past Eagles to move to Divisional round

The NFC No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers had no issue with the Philadelphia Eagles, cruising to a 31-15 victory.
15 hours ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals calls a play in the huddle against the Seattle Seahawks at...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals look to take advantage of primetime playoff opportunity vs. Rams

Playing on Monday night, all eyes will be on the Cardinals and the Rams as the division foes put a bow on Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. 
2 days ago
Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals drops back to pass during the NFL game against...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Cardinals’ 2021 meetings with Los Angeles Rams, by the numbers

A divisional matchup in the playoffs means we've got the healthiest sample size possible from the regular season.
6 days ago
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts after wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (1) catches a...
Associated Press

Josh Allen tosses 5 touchdowns to lead Bills over Patriots

Josh Allen threw five touchdown passes to lead the Buffalo Bills to a Wild Card win over the division rival New England Patriots.
2 days ago
Cincinnati Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff footb...
Associated Press

Bengals hold off Raiders to win first playoff game in 31 years

Kicking off the NFL playoffs, the Bengals held on to beat the Raiders 26-19 to earn the franchise's first playoff win since 1991.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is sacked by Los Angeles Rams defensive end Morgan F...
Alex Weiner

Rams defense keyed in on bottling up Cardinals QB Kyler Murray

Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said he expects to get Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray's best this week.
2 days ago
Cardinals’ young LB duo of Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons close on and off field