New York Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson solely performed 14 snaps towards the New England Patriots within the first pre-season recreation. However whereas he was on the sector for lower than 1 / 4 of the Giants’ whole defensive snaps, they might have been a few of the recreation’s most essential snaps.
We have seen since Wink Martindale was employed to be the Giants’ new defensive coordinator that his plan hinges on protection gamers. They’ve to carry out for his stress packs to be efficient.
Robinson is anticipated to fill one of many Giants’ exterior cornerback positions, making him one of many crew’s core defensemen and an essential a part of Martindale’s plans. So it was considerably disconcerting to look at the second-year cornerback battle towards the Patriots quarterback and receivers.
Pre-season just isn’t about wins and losses, however moderately the analysis of gamers and their progress in the course of the course of. The primary recreation of the pre-season is an opportunity for coaches to see the place their gamers are after the primary few weeks of coaching camp. It is also a baseline they will enhance on over the remaining matches. Now Robinson and the Giants coaches return to the boards and see what was incorrect with him earlier than they will take the following step to right the issue.
Let’s do the identical.
What went incorrect?
Robinson’s powerful night time began with the Patriots’ first offensive play of the sport, a fast tilt.
Robinson is lined up in human cowl on the X receiver on the high of the display screen. The receiver makes use of a fast stutter step on the exit earlier than making his lower in direction of the center of the sector. The stuttering pitch freezes Robinson for a second earlier than he turns to part himself with the receiver. Robinson’s hips are a bit gradual to open up and moderately than fluidly turning his hips to run into the receiver’s hip pocket, Robinson takes two or three fast steps to disable the road of scrimmage. The catcher is ready to get a clear inside exit, though they’ve to change their route barely as a result of slot’s quick exit route.
Whereas Robinson additionally drifts barely up, giving the receiver a bit extra separation on the catch level, he’s overwhelmed from the snap by the receivers launch. The gradual hips saved him from phasing instantly, which is important in males’s protection.
It was a theme all through the night time for Robinson.
The subsequent play is the Patriots’ first by way of cross try on their second apply.
Robinson is once more lined up on the high of the display screen, dealing with rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton enjoying flanker.
Thornton accelerates arduous off the road of scrimmage, urgent his approach into Robinson’s chest earlier than sliding out and up the sideline. As soon as once more, Robinson’s toes freeze for a second and his hips are gradual to open up as he transitions from his coaster to operating with the receiver. And like the primary piece, Robinson makes use of a number of fast steps to show moderately than flipping her hips with fluidity.
The Giants are bailed out by a nasty pitch from Brian Hoyer. The cross is submerged and floating, giving Robinson the possibility to get better and play on the ball. Though the end result was good, the Giants acquired fortunate right here, which we noticed within the subsequent recreation. The Patriots went straight again to the pit and proper to Robinson with the identical route. This time, nevertheless, Hoyer drove the ball and the end result was an extended reception.
We’ll finish with Robinson’s final piece of the night.
Robinson once more begins the sport lining up on the defensive left and is once more paired with Thornton enjoying the flanker function.
He does a greater job of opening his hips firstly of the street to run with the receiver, though he hangs on on the high of the street as Thornton enters the scrambling drill. At this level we once more see the issue of frozen toes and gradual hips. Robinson is caught off guard by the scrambling train, stopping his toes and forcing himself to run into the bend as an alternative of opening his hips.
Even when Robinson had stayed with the receiver in the course of the scramble and never waived the reception, the catch would have given the Patriots one other spherical of downs simply exterior the tip zone. Nonetheless, the (comparatively) gradual transition provides Thornton loads of separation to catch Hoyer’s scrambling.
It was a poor exhibiting from Robinson, no two methods about it. Whereas he was actually bodily, he struggled lots in protection and was exploited by the Patriots.
The primary pre-season recreation units a baseline for the gamers to enhance on, and Robinson gave himself a very good alternative to point out enchancment going ahead. Sitting right here, we do not know exactly why he struggled a lot to maintain up with the receivers throughout their breaks. He could also be serious about his tasks at a brand new place in a brand new scheme, as an alternative of “simply enjoying”. It is also actually doable that he simply had an evening’s relaxation.
It is also doable that the issue is mechanical and that he does not fairly have the agility for the methods he is been requested to carry out. Robinson has loads of pace for his new function, sprinting 4.39 seconds for 40 yards on the NFL Scouting Mix. Nonetheless, his agility scores have been simply “okay” for the job.
Whether or not the difficulty was psychological or a variation of the ups and downs that include a brand new participant in a brand new place, we should always see Robinson enhance over the following few weeks. Nonetheless, if the difficulty is sports activities, we might see the Giants regulate the best way they name protection and even see the door open for Darnay Holmes or Cor’Dale Flott to compete on the surface.
Though there’s trigger for concern, there is no such thing as a have to panic. Robinson is coming into solely his second yr within the NFL after lacking a lot of his rookie season. He is nonetheless a creating participant, and that course of is never clean.
The Giants will give him the possibility to work by way of all the problems that bothered him in Sport 1 and the chance to enhance. It is price awaiting the remainder of camp and pre-season although.
NFL pre-season video games are curious issues.
The outcomes do not matter, however what occurs between the whistles is essential to the general course of. There’s additionally an inherently small pattern measurement for any participant. There are solely three video games left, and coaches usually want to check out the entire roster, and so they usually attempt to work on particular issues.
This will permit these of us on the surface to overreact backwards and forwards. Not solely do the followers not know what their crew is basically attempting to perform, in addition they do not know what the opposing crew is attempting to perform. All of this could give context to how we assess Robinson’s play and mood our reactions.
That Robinson struggled is a priority — we won’t say that is not the case, given how essential protection is to the Giants’ protection. The truth that he struggled towards the Patriots quarterback and receivers can also be regarding. However whereas we are able to watch the tape and see What went incorrect, we do not know exactly Why. Robinson is a younger participant taking over a much bigger function in a brand new program. It is doable that he thought an excessive amount of about his methods and tasks, or that he might need tried new methods in a dwell recreation setting.
It’s, in the end, a single knowledge level. That is essential, given the function Robinson is anticipated to play in protection for the Giants. Each different crew will watch this tape and be completely completely satisfied to check the younger nook within the common season. However for now, these are simply two dangerous collection. What actually issues is how Robinson responds and if he is ready to present enchancment within the remaining preseason video games.