When the New York Giants selected tight end Adrien Robinson with their fourth-pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, they did so with the expectation that he'd become a quality all-around player with athleticism unmatched by most at the same position around the league. In fact, General Manager Jerry Reese even went as far as calling him the "JPP of tight ends."
Of course, that was a lot of pressure for a young player to endure, and his rookie campaign didn't exactly go the way he would have liked it to. But, now entering his second season with the team, Robinson feels like he's come a long way and could make an impact here in 2013.
"I feel like I've come a long way from last year as far as understanding the offense and assignments. I think that's what impressed them the most," Robinson said last week.
Robinson's positive outlook has been mimicked by tight end coach Mike Pope, who admits he's seen a tremendous change in Robinson.
"Adrien appears to have gone into the land of the believers and, yes, he has been making some good progress. He is understanding assignment-wise," Pope said. "Now we have to get him to adjust to the way the defense is playing on each particular play and to make the best decisions based on how the defense is playing. But he is running well and he has his weight down some. The quarterback is starting to find him. He is hard to miss — he is the tallest tree in the forest out there. So he is a good target. But we are more than mildly pleased with the progress that he has made from an assignment standpoint."
This is a far cry from a year ago when both Pope and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said he was too "raw" and had "huge room for improvement." And while he hasn't perfected everything he'll need to in order to make a tremendous impact in this league, like the once raw Jason Pierre-Paul, he's getting there. Perhaps more importantly, and unlike a season ago, he'll have many more opportunities to learn on the job here in 2013.
As it stands, Brandon Myers is slated to be the starting tight end, but Robinson will certainly see some action behind him. The two are poised to play predominantly different offensive roles, and with Bear Pasoce filling in at fullback for the injured Henry Hynoski, the second-year player out of Cincinnati certainly has the chance to capitalize.
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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