In his fourth season, Nick Collins earned Pro Bowl recognition to become the first Packers safety to receive that honor since Darren Sharper in 2002.
Collins and teammate Charles Woodson (also a Pro Bowl selection) tied for the NFC lead with seven interceptions, which was a career high for Collins. Collins was the only player in the league to return three interceptions for touchdowns this season, and led the league with 295 interception return yards, the sixth-most in a single season in NFL history. Collins started at free safety for the NFC as they topped the AFC, 30-21. He was credited with one tackle and led the NFC with two special teams stops.
Collins spoke with www.Packers.com about his Pro Bowl experience when he returned from Hawaii last week.
I was overwhelmed by the whole experience. It was a great experience for me, my family and all of the first-time players in the Pro Bowl. I think we had quite a few first-time players over there, and I was one of them. It was just a moment of ... I am finally here and I belong here. It was a great moment for me.
It was really special for me personally. I think getting drafted by the Packers was the highest point of my career individually, coming from a small school. Being over there in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl was right up there, but probably not quite as high as getting drafted.
I knew the majority of the guys that were there. I stay up on most of the players, especially the ones at my position. I just love the game of football so I pretty much follow all of the guys.
It was great that I wasn't the only one there from the Packers. Having Al Harris get to his second straight Pro Bowl, it was amazing for both of us to be over there playing together. One of our main goals was to have the whole secondary over there in Hawaii, but unfortunately we only got three (Woodson was selected but did not play because of injury). Hopefully next season things will work out. We always set our goals high so we are going to try to make that happen.
It wasn't quite like a regular game. All of the guys are out there having fun and you kind of calm yourself down so you aren't as hyped as you are for a regular-season game. Of course, being a competitor you want to win the game and we were able to do that.
I brought my wife, my two kids, my mom, my brother, my sister, my mother-in-law and our nanny to Hawaii. It was amazing to be able to share it with them. They really enjoyed themselves and so did I. We went to a luau and that was pretty amazing.
Now that I have some time off I am just going to spend some time with my family and relax. My wife is pregnant and she is due April 25. We're having another boy and we're really excited. My daughter, she is the oldest, and she can't wait to see him.
Last season is done and over with and I'm moving forward. We've got a new coaching staff so we've got to prepare ourselves to get ready for next season. We need everybody to be on the same page again so we can go out and put on a show this season.
I think everybody is anxious to get back in and get in the groove of things. We understand what we are trying to accomplish as a team, and that's trying to win a world championship. We're going to go from there and make strides to do that this season.