As soon as Jarrad Davis met and talked to new Lion and fellow linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., he knew Collins was his type of guy.
"It was tough to build that over the phone for a while, but luckily I get to see him every day in the building these past couple days and just being able to sit there and talk to him and listen to him and (him) listen to me and just pick each other's brains, it's really cool," Davis said. "He's a guy I enjoy. Honestly, he's probably one of my favorite types of people I've ever been around. People like him I love being around."
Why is that?
Davis described Collins as "real, straightforward and upfront" in everything he does. He's comfortable in his own skin and doesn't try to paint an image of who people want him to be.
"Jamie is who he is and he doesn't care who likes it or who doesn't like it," Davis said. "He couldn't care less. It doesn't really matter. Just being around a person like that allows me and everybody else to let your guard down and be you, man."
The Lions signed Collins in free agency as a do-it-all linebacker coming off a season in New England where he recorded 81 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Detroit's last-ranked defense a year ago can certainly use some of that production.
Davis, a former first-round pick by Detroit in 2017, is entering a big season and contract year. He hopes to glean as much as he can from Collins, who's not only been an All-Pro and Pro Bowl player in this league, but has played in and won a lot of big games, including a Super Bowl.
Collins said it's been good entering a new situation in Detroit to have a guy in Davis, a team captain and defensive leader to build an early friendship with.
"We kind of locked in and clicked up immediately," Collins said of Davis. "It didn't take long. He's a professional and I'm a professional. We're both linebackers. We're all trying to achieve the same goal. That's my brother from another mother. We in here working together.
"Like I said, we're linebackers. We're like the kings of the team. We have to hold everything down. We have to be as one. If we're not together, the team isn't going to be together. If we're not tight, we can't get everyone else tight."
Collins said the biggest thing he takes from Davis' game is the energy Davis brings on every snap.
"I feel like I can learn from him when it comes to that," Collins said.
There's been a lot of turnover on Detroit's defense this offseason for good reason. Collins is a big part of those revamped plans, but he can't do it alone. Detroit needs better linebacker play all around from Davis, Christian Jones, Jahlani Tavai and others. The first step is building trust among themselves as a unit first.
"I can't wait to get on the field," Collins said. "All this virtual stuff is cool but it's nothing like actually being on the field playing. I'm just really eager and excited to get out there (with Davis) and the everybody else."