Rams will give rookie Robinson double duty on offensive line

The Canadian Press
8/19/2014 8:11:40 PM
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ST. LOUIS - Rookie Greg Robinson has been getting double duty at guard and tackle in training camp for the St. Louis Rams.

The No. 2 pick has been equal to the task.

"They need me to cross train," Robinson said Tuesday night after practicing in 90-degree heat. "I'm just trying my best to learn it all."

Robinson projects as a main tackle eventually, but being versatile is always a plus. He admits it's been difficult mentally at times.

Since getting drafted, Robinson has been quizzed about the complexity of the Rams offence compared with Auburn's straightforward schemes.

He's getting a little weary of it, calling it "the question of the whole camp."

"They expect me to know it and I've been working hard and I'm coming along," Robinson said. "There's a few things I don't remember, but I'm coming along well and starting to play a little faster."

The Rams had a need early in camp with left tackle Jake Long and guard Rodger Saffold rehabbing from injuries.

Even though both likely will play in the third preseason game at Cleveland, Robinson will be alternating spots again. He'll start at left guard and move to left tackle after Long's day is done.

Saffold, who's been hampered by a stinger in his left shoulder, can relate to Robinson's challenge. He's settling in at right guard this season, but last year he had five starts at right guard, three starts at right tackle and one at left tackle.

"I just hope that it's good for him to be able to see the big picture," Saffold said. "The more you know, the better understanding, the better you react to blitzes and other things that you can see out of the corner of your eye, which is great."

Robinson left Auburn after two seasons and at age 21 is the second-youngest player in camp.

The Rams are factoring in the youth element, anticipating he'll grow into his role, but he's already good enough to start at two spots.

"A lot of people say I look better at tackle than guard, but that's all opinions," Robinson said. "I'm just trying my best to learn."

Saffold's injury is to the same shoulder that brought him back to St. Louis after signing a free agent deal with Oakland, but then failing his physical. He said he's felt ready for a couple of weeks, but that the team's medical staff is playing it safe.

He was hurt in practice when he got hit from two angles at the same time. He did individual work Tuesday.

"It was nowhere as bad as the last time," Saffold said. "I know they want to be super cautious and that's fine," Saffold said.

Ready to get to work, too.

"I feel in shape, I feel rested, good all the way around," he said. "I'm just itching to hit somebody else."

Notes: Former Rams LB Isiah Robertson was among those watching practice on the next to last day of training camp. "What an honour to have him in the building," coach Jeff Fisher said. ... DT Michael Brockers returned to practice from an ankle injury, but linebacker James Laurinaitis (ankle) remained sidelined.

Greg Robinson (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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