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Greg Robinson stuggles with NFL transition

Robinson AP

When the Rams made Greg Robinson the second overall pick in the draft, it was assumed he’d play left tackle.  Only days later, G.M. Les Snead explained that Robinson may play guard.

Since then, it’s become more clear that Robinson will indeed play guard as a rookie.  It’s also becoming clear that he’s having a hard time with the transition.

“It’s frustrating that I’m not up to pace right now because the playbook is more intense and things are changing but once I get back to where I’m comfortable, things will calm down and I can be myself out there,” Robinson said recently, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.  “I didn’t know what to expect, honestly.  I put a lot of pressure on myself because I like to challenge myself.  It’s something I want to do and just stand out to the coaches and let them be comfortable with their choice.”

While tackle is regarded as the more difficult position, Robinson is learning that guard has its own challenges.

“It’s just everything happens faster inside,” Robinson said.  “Outside you have a little more time to kick.  The guys are faster but these guys are just quick and trained to rush the passer. It’s just about keeping my feet working and knowing when to pull.  Right now it’s a lot of thinking going on, it causes me to move a little slower. Once I get up to speed, I can move with the snap count and stuff like that.”

Robinson’s struggles aren’t a complete surprise to league insiders who had their doubts about Robinson’s ability to be dominant at the next level.  Robinson’s reference to the intensity of the playbook won’t surprise skeptics, either, given that Robinson dealt with a limited range of plays and protections at Auburn.  It makes the Rams’ risk even bigger, especially since they’ve moved Robinson to a position that typically doesn’t demand a top-five draft pedigree.

There’s still a long way to go until Robinson faces NFL-caliber talent in a game that counts.  Until then, the best preparation may come from facing the team’s other first-round pick — defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

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47 Responses to “Greg Robinson stuggles with NFL transition”
  1. hardythekraken says: Jun 22, 2014 6:11 PM

    Usually takes lineman a year or two to adjust to the NFL. No worries Rams fans.

  2. tjmac95 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:14 PM

    What is a stuggle?

  3. kingstrup says: Jun 22, 2014 6:15 PM

    If you follow the Rams just a little, then you never assumed that he would play LT.

  4. jacobslatter says: Jun 22, 2014 6:27 PM

    As long as he has a better rookie year than Luke Joeckel & Eric Fisher he’ll be considered a success no matter which line position he plays.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 22, 2014 6:27 PM

    Wait ’til he finds out how hard is to keep up with the ever changing rules on how the money part works.

    And if you don’t know what a “stuggle” is, then there’s always the Urban Dictionary…. let’s just call it a halfway-decent proposal?

  6. qdog112 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:29 PM

    He’ll be fine and one of the better young OL. He’s just honest to a fault. Not many rookies will admit to being a bit overwhelmed at first.

    They see it as weakness. I admire his truthfulness. It means he’s serious about his job and where he wants to be. Nobody asked the top to LTs picked last year ( Joeckel & Fisher) anything. They both bombed.

    Trade him to the Panthers, we’ll take him.

  7. stainlineho says: Jun 22, 2014 6:31 PM

    Top 5 O-line men perform out the gate, not take 2-3 years to develop.

  8. tae323 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:43 PM

    From what I take from the interview he is struggling in his eyes from his high expections, I rather have a rookie that admits and struggles and have the mentality to fix it instead of thinking that everything he’s doing is good. After all it’s just OTAs he have 5 weeks to study the playbook before training camp when the pads come on

  9. mianfr says: Jun 22, 2014 6:44 PM

    At this point it’s fair to wonder if the Rams just aren’t very good at selecting or developing offensive linemen.

  10. stairwayto7 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:49 PM

    Break it down SEC style. You..block..right..you …block…left…while pointing which way is which.
    Also not playing Florida A&M

  11. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 22, 2014 6:55 PM

    The bad news is that the Rams used the #2 overall pick on a guard. Worse news is that he isn’t a very good guard.

  12. dg0122 says: Jun 22, 2014 7:01 PM

    So no more “36 and that’s a play”??

  13. nykcchiefsfan says: Jun 22, 2014 7:02 PM

    Why are expectations now for every player taken in the first round, especially say the first 10, to be a starting superstar right out of the gate? My team drafted Eric Fisher last year, and he struggled at RT (injuries didn’t help). No, he didn’t “bomb,” but he didn’t live up to his billing. He’s by no means a bust and he may struggle again this year if the Chiefs move him to LT. But long-term, he’s going to be a solid starter.

  14. realfootballfan says: Jun 22, 2014 7:12 PM

    Saw this one coming. He played in a simple offense that doesn’t exactly translate to the Pro game. He’s a physical specimen, but you have to teach him the fundamentals of pass protection and even the pro running game because Auburn literally ran like 4 plays.

  15. h1ndrix says: Jun 22, 2014 7:14 PM

    Wow. With all of the picks from the Redskins the Rams should be loaded. Instead they’ve blown all those picks and are still a 5 win team.

  16. mrlaloosh says: Jun 22, 2014 7:24 PM

    Wow Rams! Jason Smith 2.0. Just, WOW!

  17. raiderapologist says: Jun 22, 2014 7:49 PM

    Robinson doesn’t even report to training camp until July 21, and he’s already a bust. This is going to be a long four weeks.

  18. floriosbigtoe says: Jun 22, 2014 7:53 PM

    I didn’t understand why the Rams took this guy #2 overall to begin with, especially when Watkins was available and they could’ve got an OT or OG with their next 1st rounder. Fisher and Co. are way overrated in my opinion.

  19. fireleb says: Jun 22, 2014 8:07 PM

    No one has ever won a SB during OTA’S. Bust and wasted pick are being thrown around WAY too much. That’s why there are coaches, very good ones at that, who will have this kid ready. Just take it easy and if you want to question anything, maybe it should be your loyalty. GO RAMS. IN FISH AND SNEAD WE TRUST!!!!!

  20. 49erlifer says: Jun 22, 2014 8:17 PM

    Great news!

  21. sportsfan18 says: Jun 22, 2014 8:31 PM

    Well, it was just an off year to draft a tackle or a guard at the top of the draft…

    I mean if only there had been someone like this in this years draft…

    Some family history first though folks…

    Mr. Clay Matthews Sr. He was born in 1928 and played for 4 season as an Offensive Tackle and then his football career was interrupted by the Korean War and Mr. Matthews became a paratrooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

    Afters in the war he returned and played 3 more seasons in the NFL.

    Clay Matthews Sr. had some sons…

    Clay Matthews Jr. and Bruce Matthews.

    Clay Jr. was a pro bowl player, he was a linebacker.

    Bruce is a Hall of Fame player and he was an Offensive Guard for 19 seasons in the NFL.

    Clay Sr. is the grandfather of Clay Matthews III who plays for linebacker for the Packers now…

    Others may not be aware, but Clay Sr. has MANY other grandsons in the NFL.

    Kevin Matthews is a free agent right now, he plays center.

    Casey Matthews is a linebacker on the Eagles.

    Such tough luck for the Rams that none of the famed Matthews family was available this season for them to draft.

    I mean those Matthews boys know more about playing linebacker and offensive line positions at 10 yrs old than Auburn football players do…

    Oh, what do you know… The Rams took the Auburn kid Robinson and…

    There WAS a Matthews who was an offensive lineman in this draft. An all american in college last season too.

    He was selected 6th in this draft.

    Rams got what they wanted… hope they’re happy.

    That Matthews who was available is of course Jake Matthews and he is a tackle on the Falcons.

    Heck of a football family.

  22. jaycutlersbarber says: Jun 22, 2014 8:57 PM

    “the playbook is more intense and things are changing”

    Translation: “I’m dumb as a post.”

  23. ponderthis12 says: Jun 22, 2014 9:23 PM

    He is practicing against one of the best defensive lines in the nfl. He’ll be fine by week 5

  24. rrhoe says: Jun 22, 2014 9:45 PM

    If the Rams felt they were set at both tackle positions why not address another team need as opposed to drafting a guy to prevent him from going elsewhere.

  25. honkeyt says: Jun 22, 2014 9:57 PM

    And he will see Khalil Mack coming at him thus year too. I can’t tell you how happy I was when the Rams choose him and Mack fell into the Raiders lap.

  26. kamthechancellor says: Jun 22, 2014 10:07 PM

    Could’ve had Sammy Watkins.

  27. duncanthecat says: Jun 22, 2014 10:17 PM

    From instant All-Pro to the now developmental player status. This is horrible news for the Rams.

  28. osiris33 says: Jun 22, 2014 10:33 PM

    Yeah, you should have taken Sammy Watkins instead of Jason Smith 2.0. This is why you never let Jeff Fisher draft. All Rams got from the RG3 deal was a couple of average starters and they’re stuck with a sub-par QB.

    7-9, at best.

  29. jayfish6402 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:03 PM

    How could the Rams pass up on Blake Bortles or Khalil Mack? They both would make a huge impact in St. Louis, but instead they draft a guard at #2 that isn’t even the best offensive lineman in the draft, which is probably Jake Matthews. Robinson isn’t going to have as good of a career as Matthews. It takes a lot of strength to keep defenders off of Johnny Manziel, because he is easy to sack.

  30. oldcracker says: Jun 22, 2014 11:08 PM

    I’m not a Rams fan but, I think this guy is enough of a man-beast to play on either side of the ball.

    At least he knows his limits and is modest enough to admit it. He will do just fine and develope into a regular pro-bowl OL.

    If the Rams just have the patience and put in the time with him, they’ll be well rewarded.

  31. bittersportspills says: Jun 22, 2014 11:15 PM

    Well … fans could realize there’s a transition between college and professional football. You know, like going to college, graduating and then working a full-time job. Like the majority of us do.
    Robinson’s going to be fine. Right now he’s been an NFLer for less than 2 months.
    One last thing: Anyone else notice with the draft pushed back into May, there seems to be more of a struggle for rookies. Perhaps … less time between the draft and starting to play means less time to get up to NFL standards?

  32. kevinbattle2001 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:23 PM

    Anyone can look good when your competing against Vanderbelt and Kentucky a whole different story when your lined up against grown men.

  33. bornahawker says: Jun 22, 2014 11:42 PM

    Matthews boy was the one.

  34. schmitty2 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:52 PM

    I love all the couch potato gm’s on this site that just assume he is already a bust because he admitted the pro level is harder then expected. Lets just write him off before he has even had 1 snap. Good grief guys!

  35. discosucs2005 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:58 PM

    As a Niner fan, I don’t think it’s fair to label Bradford “sub-par” at this juncture. The dude has some great moments, and certainly has had some head scratching moments, but most of his setbacks have been the result of injuries out of his control.

    I think there is still a chance he excels in the league, with the right team around him.

    If you want to say the Rams shouldn’t have drafted a QB with a history of injuries, fine, but I don’t think it’s fair to call him sub-par just yet.

  36. warjag55 says: Jun 23, 2014 12:05 AM

    Their are so many things wrong with the comments on here.
    (1) Luke Joeckel was hurt last year
    (2) Auburn runs a complex system but if you can’t stop the read option they will pound you
    (3)Robinson was a one year wonder at Auburn but had holding calls like 2 in the second half against FSU that killed Auburn. Several others we had to work through.

    He will be a fine player but will need some coaching. He needs to be a tackle

    This is coming from a Auburn fan.

  37. borisbulldog says: Jun 23, 2014 3:48 AM

    Are there any smart people from Alabama?

  38. seannroth says: Jun 23, 2014 6:26 AM

    we got a lot more than just average starters if u look at it and look at what the skins have a bum for a qb

  39. hugeredskinsfan says: Jun 23, 2014 7:27 AM

    Of course he will struggle against that defensive front. He will get better facing that competition every day in practice.

  40. computojon says: Jun 23, 2014 7:30 AM

    Wow, a rookie having trouble making adjustments during June OTAs. Let’s all make grand pronouncements about his entire upcoming career.

  41. stopthemadness101 says: Jun 23, 2014 7:43 AM

    What a surprise. A player from a gimmicky high school offense struggling to pick up the pro game.

  42. dietrich43 says: Jun 23, 2014 10:06 AM

    Jessie Stuggle. I loved to watch him play mlb for the Falcons.

    Surely Robinson will be fine. All the talking heads on ESPN assured us he was one of the four elite talents in the Draft and was a can’t miss prospect. The ESPN talking heads are never wrong, are they?

  43. mrbushnell says: Jun 23, 2014 12:35 PM

    How can you say he’s struggling when he hasn’t even put pads in yet. There’s almost no contact in OTAs. He’s a lineman. He’s judged on what he does when he makes contact

  44. johjon says: Jun 23, 2014 1:16 PM

    Imagine that, a rookie in OTAs struggling against arguably the best defensive line in the NFL.

    Growing up, I always learned that you can become better by playing against superior competition. Hmm, if this is indeed the case, maybe just maybe he will be pretty darn good over a little bit of time practicing against these guys.

    Seriously people, who didn’t struggle against the Rams D-line last year? They made Pro-Bowlers look foolish. I think it is ok for Robinson to struggle a little bit against them at first.

    Also, If I remember correctly, the Rams also employ one of the better offensive line coaches in the leaugue. Robinson has all of the physical talent you could possibly look for in an offensive lineman and with the reps against the freaks he has to go up against in practice on a daily basis, sprinkled in with great coaching; call me crazy, but I believe he will be just fine.

  45. dankelly60 says: Jun 23, 2014 4:46 PM

    It’s a little early to hit the panic button. Once they get the pads on we’ll see how he’s doing. Is it really a surprise that transitioning to NFL is a big change to him?

  46. amonissalon says: Jun 23, 2014 10:12 PM

    Greg has always been a very honest humble person the sweetest kid ever thats just him so don’t get nervous Rams Fans just Give him a chance any transition is a struggle he’s not saying he’s dumb or weak it takes a man to admit there struggle and what they need work in he’s a very hard worker so we all have faith him

  47. ezrider33hg says: Jun 25, 2014 12:58 AM

    Just wait until the season starts…Greg will do fine and all of the doubters will be saying “I knew he was the right one”.

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