Garnett: Lee 'played great tonight'

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Garnett: Lee 'played great tonight'

BROOKLYN, N.Y. Prior to Boston's 102-97 loss to Brooklyn, Courtney Lee talked about his role with the C's this season.
"All of us new guys are adjusting," Lee told CSNNE.com. "We all know that you might have one role for one game, and it might be different for another game. You just have to stay ready to help when your number is called."
And on Thursday, Lee put on the kind of performance that showcased why the Celtics were so giddy as a franchise in being able to swing a deal to land him.
Lee tallied 13 points and nine rebounds, both season highs, off the C's bench.
"Courtney just came out and played," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "He didn't think about if he was starting, or not starting, how many minutes, who's playing. He played basketball tonight. When he does that, he's a great basketball player."
Kevin Garnett was among the Celtics who recognized Lee having one of his stronger performances as a Celtic.
And it could not have come on a better night with Rajon Rondo (right ankle) unable to play.
"With Rondo out, everybody had to pitch in and do different things tonight," said Kevin Garnett. "Courtney played great tonight. His energy, and the fact that the was going from Joe (Johnson) to Deron (Williams) to whoever else had it going, I thought his energy was good tonight."
But the energy Lee brought to the floor Thursday night has to become more consistent.
Not only with him, but with the entire Celtics roster.
"Like I said, it's a process," Lee said. "And we're all getting better, getting to know each other's game and how to play well with each other. We'll be fine."

Jamie Collins says he'll play quarterback for Patriots if they need him

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Jamie Collins says he'll play quarterback for Patriots if they need him

FOXBORO -- It's looking more and more like the Patriots will have options at quarterback Sunday against the Bills. Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett threw at practice on Wednesday, and it appears that at least one of them, if not both, will be available for the final game of Tom Brady's suspension. 

Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is the likely candidate to jump behind center should the team run into an emergency, but on Wednesday another player threw his hat into the ring. 

"Yeah, I'll play," said linebacker Jamie Collins. "Whatever it is. I don't care what the level is. I don't care what the level is. Whatever it is they need me to do, I'm doing it."

That would be some kind of show.

At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, and with remarkable closing speed, Collins would be an intimidating run-first signal-caller. He's listed at two inches shorter and five pounds heavier than Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, and his NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash time was only 0.05 seconds slower than Newton's. 

Just to take this pie-in-the-sky idea even further, Collins can throw, too. Or he could at one point in time. He played quarterback at Franklin County High in Meadville, Miss. before heading off to Southern Mississippi to play all over the Golden Eagles defense. As a high school senior, he cracked 1,000 yards both on the ground and through the air.

Asked if he saw himself back then as a future star in the NFL as a passer, Collins shook his head.

"Nah," he said. "I ain't even see myself as a quarterback in the NFL."

The Patriots would be just fine with Collins sticking at linebacker. He had one of the best games of his career against the Texans last week, racking up 14 tackles and picking off Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler. He also made the calls in the middle of the defense, which is a job that typically falls to Dont'a Hightower, but Collins took over with Hightower out with a knee injury.

"Jamie Collins, he's a beast, man," said safety Duron Harmon after the game. "I tell you what, I've seen a lot of football players play, and he's definitely one of my favorite players to just watch. You just get caught up sometimes seeing all the amazing stuff he does on the field, you just sit in awe. I'm so happy he's on my team, I'll tell you that."

And the team is happy he's at linebacker. But imagine him at quarterback?