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Thread: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

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    Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Ram Bytes: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?
    1 hour ago • Bernie Miklasz

    I must bark about something today, OK?

    1. If I had to wager on it, and I don't ... I'd say I believe Greg Robinson will turn out to be a good NFL offensive lineman. Who knows, the Auburn football alum could become a great one. But let's talk about those two words there ... "Who Knows."

    As I wrote around the time the Rams chose Robinson No. 2 overall in May's NFL Draft, I declined to assume that Robinson become an elite tackle or guard. I won't take those things for granted. The reason was simple: I heard the same buildup of Baylor OT Jason Smith when the Rams made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2009.

    2. Smith was big and powerful and ornery and had quick feet for a giant. A little raw, sure, but we were told that Smith would easily overcome his incomplete form in time, once he gained experience and maturity. I bought into that. Heck, I wrote it. Well, J. Smith turned out to be a terrible miscalculation by the Rams and those of us who report or comment on the team. Smith started only 26 games in a four-season NFL career that lasted through 2012. The last time I looked Smith had been released by the Jets at the end of the 2013 training camp; I'm not sure if he received an invitation to any team's camp this summer.

    3. This is not to say that Greg Robinson is going to be Jason Smith v 2.0. That would be unfair to Robinson. But it would be just as silly to assume that he'll turn out to be Willie Roaf, Walter Jones, Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace, Joe Thomas, Lomas Brown, Ryan Clady, Jordan Gross, Matt Light -- or any of the offensive tackles that earned multiple Pro Bowl selections over the past 20 years. The point is no one knows. We think we know, but we don't know. (Wait a minute, am I channeling Jim Mora Sr.?)

    4. What I do know is this: when your franchise hasn't posted a winning record since 2003 and is 43-100-1 since 2005, I think it's reasonable to expect that the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft would plug in and start right away. From Day One, as they say.

    I mean, seriously now. It's not as if Mister Robinson is a defensive end, trying to compete for starting time, and playing time, with Robert Quinn, Chris Long, William Hayes and Eugene Sims. The Rams' 2013 offensive line was OK, and multiple members are still in place. The Rams' O-line did a solid but not powerful job of run-blocking last season, and Pro Football Focus ranked them 18th among 32 NFL lines in pass-blocking efficiency.

    5. The No. 2 overall draft choice should be able to crack this starting lineup. In hindsight the Rams' coaches erred in shifting Robinson between tackle and guard, a plan of development that apparently left the rookie in a state of confusion. So the big guy will need time to recalibrate and get settled. And hopefully he will.

    5a. But you'll have to forgive me for holding onto at least some skepticism here. When Davin Joseph is starting on your O-line, and the No. 2 overall pick is not starting on your O-line, it raises a red flag. At least for me, anyway. Does that make me a bad person?

    There I go again ...

    Ya'll don't mind me; please resume with the balloon party.

    Everything in Spin City, and out at Rams Park in Earth City, is fantastic.

    Thanks for reading ...

    — Bernie

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Bernie makes some interesting points, some good and some poor.

    I think we all recognized that, in Robinson, the Rams were taking a prospect who had immense physical talent and skill but was raw in the fundamentals of the game. Fans expected that there would be a learning curve.

    However, plugging him in at offensive guard rather than tackle was supposed to help with that. I don't think anyone anticipated that Robinson wouldn't be starting the opening game of the season. Yes, he's raw, but is he really that raw? Perhaps, but I think Bernie makes a solid point in that shifting him back and forth between left guard and left tackle in practices/games did him a disservice.

    Anyone trying to use this news to prematurely declare Robinson a bad pick or a bust is off their rocker, but at the same time, I think we can probably all admit that if Robinson doesn't start the opening game, to some degree, that's a disappointment.

    Hopefully, he can regain his focus and join the line-up sooner rather than later.
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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    I'd be disappointed but not devastated by it. If he could not beat out Davin Joseph who has regained his form according to JT, then I'm fine with it. If Joseph and Saffold played well we could have two pro-bowl guards. If he needs more time it is what it is, not sure how long he will be watching with the health issues we have seen over the years.


    Jim Thomas

    —Robinson has struggled with pass pro _ something that has been mentioned before the draft as something he’d have to learn. Davin Joseph who is expected to start at RG, is a 2-time Pro Bowler who had a good camp and preseason. Rodger Saffold, who is expected to start at LG, is someone you paid $30 million-plus in free agency. So those are two pretty good options.
    We may see him in some jumbo packages as the third TE in game one, that would be something...
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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post

    Hopefully, [GR] can regain his focus and join the line-up sooner rather than later.
    Most likely he will do just that (sooner), either at LT or LG.

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Hope it has more to do with Davin Joseph's emergence back to Pro-Bowl form. Knowing that Robinson has some freakish athleticism but fundamental issues, I saw this coming. I'm not worried seeing that Paul Boudreau is lightyears better than Steve Loney as an O-line coach.

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    5. The No. 2 overall draft choice should be able to crack this starting lineup. In hindsight the Rams' coaches erred in shifting Robinson between tackle and guard, a plan of development that apparently left the rookie in a state of confusion. So the big guy will need time to recalibrate and get settled. And hopefully he will.
    I've been pointing to this for a few days now. It wasn't smart to float Robinson around while you're stating he'll be your starting LG. Bring him in and let him learn the new position and after he acclimates himself to the NFL game you can expand his coaching by bringing him along as a tackle. You didn't help him at all Fisher by further complicating his development.

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Hearing about Matthews and Clowney is disheartening. I HOPE Robinson is just a few steps away from taking a 10 year seat on the starting line. For a team that has not had a winning record........in forever.....seems like you need your top draft picks to start standing out. In that regard, we have Quinn, Long and ??? (non-special team)
    Last edited by macrammer; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:33 PM.

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    I've been pointing to this for a few days now.
    Yes you have. Bernie knows where to come for ideas.

    Posted on ClanRam yesterday:

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Robinson was also not a starter in the dress rehearsal against Cleveland. Whether or not that's relevant, who knows.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    I'd lay any blame for Robinson being "behind the curve" and not being ready to start day one on Fisher. He had Robinson moving back and forth from LG to LT and back again. If your plan is to play him at LG you should have given him as many snaps as possible at that spot.
    Posted by Bernie today:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    But let's talk about those two words there ... "Who Knows."
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    In hindsight the Rams' coaches erred in shifting Robinson between tackle and guard, a plan of development that apparently left the rookie in a state of confusion.
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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Where has the Rams depth chart been posted? Their official site hasn't been updated as it still has Bradford starting. Is this all a PFT article or have the Rams or Fisher said anything?

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Jim Thomas @jthom1 · 54m

    After Weds. practice Fisher confirms what is now obvious: Rodger Saffold will start at LG ahead of No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson vs Minny

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Let's just get this out of the way now:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Naysayer
    Wow, the Rams have done it again. They pick the wrong OL with the No. 2 pick, and now they have a highly paid bench warmer. Of course, Greg Robinsion will have to play anyway, as Rodger Saffold will get hurt in the first quarter, or Davin Joseph will show that he's only a shell of his former self. Of course, if Jake Long, as expected, gets hurt again or is burnt like toast the way he was when he got Sam Bradford injured, Robinson may have to play OT. Man, we're screwed.

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    I feel like I am in a small crowd. I have no issue with Robinson being on the bench to start the season. The NFL is a lot different than college, and different players learn at different rates.

    Having our # 2 pick on the bench does not indicate that we failed; what it DOES mean is that Saffold, who is quite talented, is likely more familiar with the playbook than Robinson, and Scotty, Boudreau, and Fisher are more comfortable with Saffold at guard. Perhaps they think he can read opposing defenses better. Perhaps Robinson has a tendency to hold pass rushers. Perhaps Schotty has some plays in mind that Robinson hasn't learned yet.

    He'll get there. I'd rather have him 100% ready to start and be able to play with confidence than to rush him onto the field before he's ready - and have an Alex Barron on our hands.
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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    I understand that patience is sometimes needed and even highly regarded players aren't always "world beaters" from day one. From that standpoint, anyone expressing "regret" over Robinson simply needs to calm down a bit.

    But a #2 overall pick must be in the starting lineup by mid-season, I'm sorry. And don't hand me that nonsense about Davin Joseph's emergence or anything else. When you draft a guy this high up, he'd better be an immediate impact player if your football team entertains hopes of becoming good.

    Some of us have grown tolerant of losing and too patient with guys. Get the job done NOW. Not week 10, not year 2 and not 2017. There are big expectations when you're selected high in the draft. Nothing unfair about it. And every guy has to go above their business this year if we are to overcome the loss of a starting QB and have any kind of a season.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:53 PM.
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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam View Post
    I feel like I am in a small crowd. I have no issue with Robinson being on the bench to start the season. The NFL is a lot different than college, and different players learn at different rates.

    Having our # 2 pick on the bench does not indicate that we failed; what it DOES mean is that Saffold, who is quite talented, is likely more familiar with the playbook than Robinson, and Scotty, Boudreau, and Fisher are more comfortable with Saffold at guard. Perhaps they think he can read opposing defenses better. Perhaps Robinson has a tendency to hold pass rushers. Perhaps Schotty has some plays in mind that Robinson hasn't learned yet.

    He'll get there. I'd rather have him 100% ready to start and be able to play with confidence than to rush him onto the field before he's ready - and have an Alex Barron on our hands.
    Crowd just grew by one....lol... I also think this option relieves Big Jake of the responsibility of nursing G-Rob through his first real NFL football while trying to regain his own health/form.

    Maybe we should even be heartened by this move; if Fisher/Schotty were planning to minimize the passing attack & bulldoze after Bradford's injury, maybe G-Rob would be a more likely starter. My general impression was that he was pretty effective at LG in the run game during pre.
    I didn't like the chop/change, anymore than I like this biz of having rookie WRs learn every role, but Boudreau put together a decent unit for the second half of the season with less talent,imo, so who am I to question the method in his madness. Less than a year ago, who woulda thunk Saffold would be widely thought of as a guard with a higher ceiling than he had at tackle ? The decision to play Long & the dire result has shaken my faith a bit, I'll admit, but there's no call for Smith comparisons regarding Robinson

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    Re: Bernie: Wait, the No. 2 overall draft pick isn't starting?

    The way Long played in preseason it seems like a good idea to put someone with experience next to him. A rusty Jake Long next to a rookie could spell disaster (again).
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