Collins feels right at home

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Milton Collins got his mitts on a pass thrown by Henry Burris yesterday, but that is a rarity these days for the former receiver.

At the start of Calgary Stampeders training camp, Collins was converted to a defensive back for the first time in his career.

So when he stepped in front of a Burris pass and took it to the house yesterday in practice, it felt natural for the Ole Miss product.

"I can't let that get to my head. I have to continue what I'm doing," said Collins. "Henry is a good quarterback but that was a good look for the defence.

"Camp started out slow for me, but as time goes by, it's getting easier because I have good coaches. They've been showing me the proper technique on what I need to do."

Collins isn't the only receiver playing on the opposite side of the line. Veteran Canadian Markus Howell is also taking reps at wide-side cornerback with Collins and incumbent starter Crance Clemons.

Unlike Howell, who has played the position before, Collins is taking the first steps on defence in his entire life.

One benefit Collins has is he understands offences from a player's pespective. He's using those instincts to play catch-up at defensive back.

"Reading a receiver is easier. I'm used to being the receiver making those moves," the 23-year-old said.

"As a DB, I don't even have to catch the ball. Just batting it down is a good move.

"I would like to catch it, but I don't have to. So that's a benefit to playing defensive back."

EXTRA POINTS

Among the several players sitting out yesterday was left tackle Jermese Jones with a lower-body injury, which isn't good news to an already depleted offensive line missing LT Jesse Newman (knee) and RG Derek Armstrong ... Also on the sidelines were DB Dwight Anderson, DB Chijioke Onyenegecha, DB Willie Byrd, LB Shannon James, DB Julian Battle, DE Juwan Simpson and DE Terrence Patrick, who are all day-to-day.


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