Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden has insisted since the start of training camp that offseason acquisition Maliek Collins will be at the heart of the Raiders’ defense.

“He’ll be the anchor of us,” Gruden said. “We’ll go as far as he takes us.”

Collins, who spent the first four years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, said Thursday he’s prepared to accept that responsibility.

“I’m really excited for this next step … I’m ready for it,” said Collins, who signed a one-year contract worth $6 million. “You just bet on yourself. I’ve always been a person that, I got full confidence in me. I know what I’m capable of. When I talked to Gruden, when I first planned on coming here, he told me to just come in and just be myself. That’s what I’ve been trying to do to the best of my ability, do things that I normally do. I’m not a big speech guy, I’m not a big hoorah guy. Kind of just lead by example and do things the right way.”

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