The Jacksonville Jaguars should see their offensive line play moving forward, especially now that former 2017 second-round selection, starting left tackle Cam Robinson is finally back healthy and ready to showcase his skills in 2020.
Robinson originally tore his ACL just eight snaps into the second game of 2018, missing 14 straight games, and hampering the start to his third year with the team in 2019. Although he only missed full two games last season, Robinson drew weekly showings on the team’s injury report, often listed as “limited” and sometimes questionable for the contests.
To say that it was a difficult year for Robinson, would probably be an understatement, however, now he’s back, and feeling healthy.
“Health wise, it’s like night and day,” Robinson said on Tuesday via virtual conference call. “Last year, I was just trying to get on the field. Even at this point, I don’t even think I was cleared yet at this point last year. When I did get cleared, I ended up having another injury. For me, it’s like night and day, finally being able to be healthy. I am looking forward to it.”
While much of 2019 was spent rehabbing, it wasn’t until around the final four or five weeks of the season when he was able to play similarly to his former self.
“That’s when I felt like it was getting back to normal. Everything other than that, it was working to get on the field,” he says. “Working to stay healthy to stay on the field. Towards the last quarter of the season last year, the last four or five games, is when I started to feel like myself again.”
During his rookie season, Robinson had the looks of an ascending left tackle in the NFL. A projected first-round pick, Robinson “fell” to the Jaguars when they traded up to select him with the 34th-overall pick. At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Robinson was easily one of the most physically imposing football players on the roster and has shown plenty of potential.
While last offseason was spent mostly rehabbing and working to get back into football shape after essentially a year off, Robinson was able to train with his offensive line coach in Dallas, Duke Manyweather, one of the most respected offensive line experts in the nation.
“Last year was more so me trying to get healthy, it was training but I was trying to get back on the field. This year, going into the offseason, being healthy, to where I can train and get stronger and work on football. That is going to be very beneficial.”
This season, the Jaguars will be deploying a brand-new offense under offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Many players have already spoken highly of the new system, with Robinson lauding its ability to keep defenses off balance, able to keep defenses guessing instead of being predictable. With less predictability, the Jaguars should be much better at running the football, too.
“One thing you do not want to be in this league is predictable,” said Robinson. “If you can run the ball in this league, you are going to be successful at the end of the day. Running the ball and keeping the defense off balance with a lot of the run and pass. All in all, more variety.”
More variety will help, and the Jaguars’ offensive line will surely benefit.
Entering the final year of his contract, Robinson might be one of the many on the team who have a lot to gain. Play well and you’re in for a major pay-day, play poorly and you may find yourself taking a discount elsewhere. It’s important, yes, but Robinson isn’t worried.
“At the end of the day, I don’t even think about, ‘can I train here?’ I go and play football, and do what I always have done and let the rest take care of itself.”