Rams

Rams’ Sean McVay not giving up on ex-No. 2 pick Greg Robinson

Greg Robinson, the former No. 2 overall pick who has struggled at left tackle throughout his three-year career, remains “a big part” of the Los Angeles Rams’ plans moving forward, new coach Sean McVay said Friday.

McVay did not specify whether Robinson would remain at left tackle, but he did praise his talent.

“When you see some of the things he’s able to do, you see the athleticism in space when he’s pulling around and using some of those perimeter schemes that they did offensively last year,” McVay said during a news conference from the team facility, which followed a meet-and-greet with his new assistant coaches.

“He’s a guy that we’re excited to get around. That’s why it’s frustrating that we have to wait so long to get these guys in the building, see them on the grass.”

Robinson has committed an NFL-leading 31 total penalties over the past two years. In 2016, Pro Football Focus graded him 71st among 78 qualified tackles. He was benched on two separate occasions this past season, when the entire offensive line struggled to protect rookie quarterback Jared Goff and create space for running back Todd Gurley.

There was some thought the Rams might simply part ways with Robinson, who will cost about $6.8 million toward the salary cap in 2017, but it appears the new staff is not ready to do that.

New offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who spent the past two years with the Buffalo Bills, said Robinson has shown “flashes of skills” to remain an NFL left tackle.

“Now, why it’s not consistent, I can’t answer that; I don’t know,” Kromer said. “When I can work with a player and get my hands on him and be outside and ask him to do something and ask him to do it again and ask him to adjust something, then I know what we can do with him, how we can fit him in the offense.

But until then, on tape — I don’t know what he was told. I kind of know what he was supposed to do, but I don’t know what his mindset was. I don’t know it with any of them. So, I’m just looking for individual skills, like a scout.”

At 6-foot-5, 332 pounds, Robinson is surprisingly athletic and has the skills to play left tackle, something that was obvious when he came out of Auburn in 2014 but just hasn’t clicked yet in the NFL.

The Rams’ previous offensive line coach, Paul Boudreau, spoke during the season about Robinson’s inconsistent mechanics.

“He’s all over the place with his feet, he’s all over the place with his hands,” Boudreau said. “And when he gets in trouble, when he stops his feet, he grabs, and he gets those holding penalties that you really don’t need. So, he’s got to concentrate on focusing on the little things.”

The Rams could try moving Robinson to guard, where he can more freely utilize his power. But the best pending free agents are guards, a list that includes Kevin Zeitler, T.J. Lang and Larry Warford. Andrew Whitworth, a 35-year-old former second-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, is one of few notable left tackles eligible for free agency.

An in-house option at the position, besides Robinson, could be Rodger Saffold, who was perhaps the Rams’ best offensive lineman last year.

Asked about transitioning to guard shortly after the Rams concluded a 4-12 season, Robinson said: “It’s not really something that I’m just going to accept, because I’m so used to playing tackle. It would be hard to adjust. But if I have to adjust, that will be something that I will do.”

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/18661952/greg-robinson-los-angeles-rams-remains-big-part-team-plans-sean-mcvay-says?sf55706685=1

 

20 Comments

  1. jrry32

    Greg can't decline the option. But if we choose not to exercise it, yes, I would extend him.

    Forgive him.. He is just a stupid Cardinal fan.

  2. CardncubfanI understand that Jerry but wouldn't you want to extend him before that if you think he's going to be a stud? Say mid way through the season he's been the best tackle in the league. Then he knows he's going to get paid big time & decline the option so he can hit the open market. Unless I'm misunderstanding it correctly. I know it would still be a risk not seeing him in live action but they should be able to tell if he's picking things up better & how he performs in practice.

    Greg can't decline the option. But if we choose not to exercise it, yes, I would extend him.

  3. jrry32Boudreau is known for running a very complex ZBS. When you add our overly complex and shitty scheme under Boras, Cignetti, and Schotty to that, I think we didn't do any of our offensive players any favors.

    My uneducated opinion is that Boudreau wasn't capable of teaching Robinson. Unfortunately, that happens. The real issue is that this past year, it seemed like Boudreau wasn't able to teach any of our OLs. Because they (the entire OL) looked completely out of sorts.

    jrry32If what people have told me about Boudreau's scheme is true, we should have been drafting high IQ technicians for it. Instead, we often drafted high upside projects. I could go on a long rant of all our poor decisions in drafting guys who didn't fit the convoluted and terribly designed system that we ran.

    I think what you said above hits the nail on the head more than anything else regarding our OL problems this past year. When everybody gets worse from one season to the next, it's a stretch to believe that it's all the players fault. Here's hoping McVay and company offer the correct diagnosis for last year's debacle.

  4. I understand that Jerry but wouldn't you want to extend him before that if you think he's going to be a stud? Say mid way through the season he's been the best tackle in the league. Then he knows he's going to get paid big time & decline the option so he can hit the open market. Unless I'm misunderstanding it correctly. I know it would still be a risk not seeing him in live action but they should be able to tell if he's picking things up better & how he performs in practice.

  5. I think you need to figure that out before the season starts. If he's doing great mid-season he will know he's going to get paid. The coaches should know before the season starts whether he is the real deal or not.

  6. Boffo97

    give him a 5th year extension this year, and if they do whether to give him a new contract next year,

    I think that decision needs to be made fairly quickly into this season. If things start to click for the guy this year and the Rams decide that they wish to pick up his option for next year, he may just bet on himself (Ala Janoris Jenkins) and wish to hit the open market. If he can somehow position himself into a top 5 LT the next few years, the Rams will never be able to afford him.

    At the midway point of this year I would assess Robinsons play and make the determination if this guy is the future or not. If you decide he is worth the gamble, then try and extend him now on a team friendly deal that is relatively easy to get out of if he leads to a bust.

    IMO one of the worst things that can happen is if Robinson starts to pan out and we do not have a contract ready for him to sign.

  7. I think there's two things we can all agree on:

    1. We want Robinson to work out, whether at tackle, guard, or whatever, to get value from him that a #2 pick should give us. Even those who didn't want him to be the pick should be hoping he works out if they're a Rams fan.

    2. Time is running out. Rams have to decide whether to give him a 5th year extension this year, and if they do whether to give him a new contract next year, which will likely be expensive just on his draft status alone.

  8. jrry32

    Yes. Robinson may take some of the blame as well. I'm not in the facility to know what his work habits are like, but he's never struck me as a lazy player.

    Boudreau is known for running a very complex ZBS. When you add our overly complex and shitty scheme under Boras, Cignetti, and Schotty to that, I think we didn't do any of our offensive players any favors.

    My uneducated opinion is that Boudreau wasn't capable of teaching Robinson. Unfortunately, that happens. The real issue is that this past year, it seemed like Boudreau wasn't able to teach any of our OLs. Because they (the entire OL) looked completely out of sorts.

    My hope is that Kromer will find a way to get through to Greg and teach him. It'll likely start with simplifying things so that Greg is reacting rather than thinking.

    I don't think Boudreau is a bad OL Coach, but I do think he was a poor fit here. Great teams know their schemes and know how to identify players who fit that scheme. I felt that the Rams under Fisher lacked an offensive identity and did a poor job of identifying talent that fit what we do.

    If what people have told me about Boudreau's scheme is true, we should have been drafting high IQ technicians for it. Instead, we often drafted high upside projects. I could go on a long rant of all our poor decisions in drafting guys who didn't fit the convoluted and terribly designed system that we ran. Let's just hope that McVay does a better job of defining the offensive identity and the types of players that we need.

    Let's not undersell it. Robinson's 40 time was freakish. Dontari Poe is the only other 330+ pound player in the past 5 to 10 years whom I can think of who ran a 40 in less than 5 seconds.

    Robinson has freakish athletic gifts. That's not his problem. He was a sushi raw player who simply hasn't developed like we hoped. Frankly, that's the problem with drafting raw players when you have an offensive staff that sucks at developing talent.

    I think Robinson has the potential to be far more than an above average OG or an average LT, but time is running out.

    I agree Robinson is a athletic as they come. I just don't think his athleticism is ideal for LT. I remeber when Robinson played vs Justin Smith he had one of his best outings ever, vs the more bendy speedy DE's, Robinson is virtually a lock for a poor outing. I just think too many are hung up over his measurables due to his size. If I'm not mistaken Lewan had a faster 40 time the year they came out. Plus his natural insticts scream G over Tackle in my opinion. I just dont want this to be anouther Brian Quick, wasting years all for alleged upside.

    All that said I'm hoping you're right, I really am. Maybe Kromer will be the trick, but my hopes are definitely tempered.

  9. PhxRam

    Are you suggesting that Robinsons failures were a direct result from the coaching he received from Boudreau?

    Yes. Robinson may take some of the blame as well. I'm not in the facility to know what his work habits are like, but he's never struck me as a lazy player.

    Boudreau is known for running a very complex ZBS. When you add our overly complex and shitty scheme under Boras, Cignetti, and Schotty to that, I think we didn't do any of our offensive players any favors.

    My uneducated opinion is that Boudreau wasn't capable of teaching Robinson. Unfortunately, that happens. The real issue is that this past year, it seemed like Boudreau wasn't able to teach any of our OLs. Because they (the entire OL) looked completely out of sorts.

    My hope is that Kromer will find a way to get through to Greg and teach him. It'll likely start with simplifying things so that Greg is reacting rather than thinking.

    I don't think Boudreau is a bad OL Coach, but I do think he was a poor fit here. Great teams know their schemes and know how to identify players who fit that scheme. I felt that the Rams under Fisher lacked an offensive identity and did a poor job of identifying talent that fit what we do.

    If what people have told me about Boudreau's scheme is true, we should have been drafting high IQ technicians for it. Instead, we often drafted high upside projects. I could go on a long rant of all our poor decisions in drafting guys who didn't fit the convoluted and terribly designed system that we ran. Let's just hope that McVay does a better job of defining the offensive identity and the types of players that we need.

    HellRam

    If the Rams are not able to find a vaible option at LT, I suppose Robinson remains the top option.

    That said I think Robinson has potential to be a above average Guard. IMO average is the best we can hope for at LT. I just dont see a natural tackle in GR. It's a point thats hardly brought up, but both Lewan and Matthews had faster times in shuttle and cone drills. Robinson posted a good 40 time for his size, but not necessarily was it a great time for a LT. And I haven't even mentioned his mental lapses yet….

    Curious to see what the caoching staff does.

    Let's not undersell it. Robinson's 40 time was freakish. Dontari Poe is the only other 330+ pound player in the past 5 to 10 years whom I can think of who ran a 40 in less than 5 seconds.

    Robinson has freakish athletic gifts. That's not his problem. He was a sushi raw player who simply hasn't developed like we hoped. Frankly, that's the problem with drafting raw players when you have an offensive staff that sucks at developing talent.

    I think Robinson has the potential to be far more than an above average OG or an average LT, but time is running out.

  10. Boffo97I will add that even though I've defended Saffold more than most here, ever I would be hesitant if the plan was moving Saffold back to tackle to put Robinson inside as a guard.

    Saffold has seemed to play better as a guard, and his durability concerns show up more as a tackle.

    I just don't know who is out there in either FA or the draft (particularly without a 1st round pick) that would be an upgrade over Saffold or Robinson. Whitworth is thrown around a lot, but he's getting up there and he's going to want a big contract.

    Yup…that's the hard part, finding a viable option. So I agree there's a chance GR might be the Rams starting LT this upcoming season. However, if they can find a stop gap or strike gold in the draft. IMO they can possibly upgrade the G and LT position with just one player being aquired. Of course this is a ideal situation IMO. At Robisnon's current play a stop gap or draftee maybe not be all to far behind and quite possibly better.

    I'm aware some think GR is salvageable, hopefully those fans see something I don't. Really sucks the Rams whiffed on a LT with the 2nd pick again.

    Also happy birthday dude…

  11. I will add that even though I've defended Saffold more than most here, ever I would be hesitant if the plan was moving Saffold back to tackle to put Robinson inside as a guard.

    Saffold has seemed to play better as a guard, and his durability concerns show up more as a tackle.

    I just don't know who is out there in either FA or the draft (particularly without a 1st round pick) that would be an upgrade over Saffold or Robinson. Whitworth is thrown around a lot, but he's getting up there and he's going to want a big contract.

  12. Boffo97

    To be fair, those who pounded the table for Robinson (that's the sad part about not having a 1st rounder… no table pounding because who knows who's going to be there?) were open to the possibility he might be a better guard than tackle. I only took issue when they claimed Hall of Fame guard was worst case scenario.

    Worst case scenario was obviously total bust, just as it is for any player, and this is the year it's on Robinson to prove that isn't the case.

    Oh I agree regarding the bust thing. How good a guard he can be is to be determined. But I do think GR fits better at that position.

    Me personally, I'd like the Rams to find anouther LT wether it be draft or FA. Have Robinson be a back up LT, starting Guard. Have Wichmann and Brown battle it out for the other G position. Unless the staff goes into full on rebuild mode, which is entirely possible as well.

  13. HellRam

    If the Rams are not able to find a vaible option at LT, I suppose Robinson remains the top option.

    That said I think Robinson has potential to be a above average Guard. IMO average is the best we can hope for at LT. I just dont see a natural tackle in GR. It's a point thats hardly brought up, but both Lewan and Matthews had faster times in shuttle and cone drills. Robinson posted a good 40 time for his size, but not necessarily was it a great time for a LT. And I haven't even mentioned his mental lapses yet….

    Curious to see what the caoching staff does.

    To be fair, those who pounded the table for Robinson (that's the sad part about not having a 1st rounder… no table pounding because who knows who's going to be there?) were open to the possibility he might be a better guard than tackle. I only took issue when they claimed Hall of Fame guard was worst case scenario.

    Worst case scenario was obviously total bust, just as it is for any player, and this is the year it's on Robinson to prove that isn't the case.

  14. OldSchool

    I think you mean Boudreau, Hannifan has been gone a while 🙂

    oooops.. Selective memory I guess

  15. If the Rams are not able to find a vaible option at LT, I suppose Robinson remains the top option.

    That said I think Robinson has potential to be a above average Guard. IMO average is the best we can hope for at LT. I just dont see a natural tackle in GR. It's a point thats hardly brought up, but both Lewan and Matthews had faster times in shuttle and cone drills. Robinson posted a good 40 time for his size, but not necessarily was it a great time for a LT. And I haven't even mentioned his mental lapses yet….

    Curious to see what the caoching staff does.

  16. I don't know if any are disagreeing per se with Robinson being given another chance. The odds of trading him and his fully guaranteed for this year contract for anything substantive were slim and it's worth having a look to see if a new OL coach can get anything near what we thought we were getting out of him.

    More of the same though and I think we have to chalk it up to the same old story: "Project" draft pick with great athleticism just couldn't develop the necessary tools and becomes a bust. In that case, I wouldn't even pick up his 5th year option and just let him go rather than throw good money after bad. SOME promise, and it might be a different story though.

  17. PhxRam

    Are you suggesting that Robinsons failures were a direct result from the coaching he received from hannifan?

    I think you mean Boudreau, Hannifan has been gone a while 🙂

  18. jrry32

    I know some may disagree, but I think this is the right call. Let Kromer see what he can do with Greg. Greg fits the skill-set that Kromer normally looks for his OTs to have. Let's see if he can develop under Kromer like so many OLs have.

    Are you suggesting that Robinsons failures were a direct result from the coaching he received from hannifan?

  19. I know some may disagree, but I think this is the right call. Let Kromer see what he can do with Greg. Greg fits the skill-set that Kromer normally looks for his OTs to have. Let's see if he can develop under Kromer like so many OLs have.

Leave a Reply

Close