Auburn draftee struggling in the face of real football

ITKGus Malzahn’s system is Mickey Mouse. We know this. But now St. Louis coaches and fans are finding out for themselves.

It seems 1st rounder OL Greg Robinson is having a hard time on a real football team in a real offensive system, the Bleacher Report outlines for us.

My favorite…

“To say that the St. Louis playbook is more complicated than Auburn’s is like saying that the Los Angeles Yellow Pages is bigger than Fargo’s.

“Robinson admitted it’s been a challenge, according to Latsch:

“‘We had a select few (plays at Auburn), but it worked. This is a full playbook and it’s something that I’m really going to have to work on and really learn in and out, because I’m sure they are not going to play nobody that’s not ready. But they threw me in the fire, and that’s something that I’m going to have to get used to real fast.'”

Robinson is a big guy, and a specimen for sure. But teams and their fans don’t like hearing the draftee they’re sinking the most cash into is having to learn the fundamentals of his position.

Gus’ dipsy-doo trickeroo offense is concocted of smoke, mirrors and a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down…for Aubie fans slurping the koolaide, in the most delightful way.

But translating that style into the pro game may be another matter entirely. Especially at some key positions like offensive line, where they expect you to know how to block…legally…in exchange for the big money you receive.

It seems the only thing the hurry up has done for Robinson is lead him to have to hurry up and learn how to play man football.

Will this affect recruiting? You bet, as the best of the best naturally want the best shot at the best draft dollars. And those on the recruiting trail will surely be ready to share Robinson’s story.

That best shot, still, appears to be in Tuscaloosa, where man football is still played, and Bama’s OL 1st rounders step into the next level without having to re-learn the game.


(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

46 Comments

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  1. 1
    nope

    Robinson wasn’t prepared for his future.

    Funny how that’s Saban’s explicit M.O.; to prepare his players for their specific future, particularly the ones headed to the NFL.

    Linemen are notoriously misunderstood. The offensive line in particular gets more attention for false start penalties than bruising at full strength play after play.

    But line play is often complex, and even more often underrated. They get less attention and credit, they get hit on nearly every play, and they play for longer consecutive stretches.

    That is, unless you run the hurry-up-no-huddle-no-substitution offense, because then you know which plays you can essentially “take off.” The ball is either coming to your side or it’s not, or it’s a pass option.

    That’s essentially it.

    If you know the ball is going to the opposite side in motion, why bother? You don’t have to.

    Robinson is a beast—-thirtty years ago it was hard to find more than one guy on any pro team with his size, but in the 21st century size is the most important prerequisite for line play. If you need a big guy, you take the biggest guy you can find as soon as possible.

    Robinson has talent. You can’t take talent away—-his size is a talent, his strength is another, and he’s got poise.

    But what Robinson doesn’t have is skill. Skill is taught. That’s not to say he doesn’t have any skill at the line, just that he was never taught much about it because he never had to learn it——–he hasn’t been playing football; he’s been playing post-2008 college football, a game with a rule set that simply no longer requires much of the same skills to succeed at the pro level.

    Make no mistake, you need big guys on your line for any type of football, but you can’t run a HUNHNS offense without big linemen. You just can’t. Sure, the RB isn’t coming up the middle in the trenches very much at all, but you need big bodies (and not much else) to prevent the defense from getting to him or stopping an option. Sometimes they’re in position simply for misdirection, and you can arguably get away with more when the ball and the play move so quickly.

    You’re only as good as the training you receive from the teams you practice against. Auburn’s defense was bad last year perhaps because they had so little practice against solid fundamental football, an important part to the pro game, albeit a nearly absent concept to the HUNHNS. Maybe it will change some this year with the way they’re saying Nick Marshall is actually going to throw the ball from the pocket, but it’s too late for players like Greg Robinson and on the recruiting trail.

    • 3
      nope

      Did it make you feel better about the HUNHNS?

      It’s a concern. Greg Robinson will be fine, maybe even great. It’s a problem he’s trying to fix that Auburn isn’t by nature.

      • 4
        Gibson

        I was actually referring to ITK’s entire article, not your comment. You made a few points that I can’t argue with.

        However, anytime ITK tries to reference an article about anything that has to do with Auburn (which happens all the time), it is completely taken out of context. Greg Robinson is not struggling because of what offense he played in on the college level. He is struggling because he has moved from tackle to guard. It is stated in the first sentence of the linked article. He admits he has not played guard since highschool and is struggling with the speed on the interior. This has nothing to do with HUNH, Gus Malzahn or Auburn, as much as you want it to. But, i’ll give you a pass because you can’t talk about anything but Auburn..

        Again, don’t let the facts get in the way of Auburn constantly being on your mind.

        • 5
          nope

          @gibson

          Huh? But…I never said you were responding to my comment? Where did that come from?

          “Greg Robinson is not struggling because of what offense he played in on the college level. He is struggling because he has moved from tackle to guard.”

          Now this does have relevance to what I said. You have to understand the positions at the line and that’s something they just don’t talk about on TV.

          Yes, they moved him to guard. Why? To better prepare him for tackle.

          The position isn’t too hard for him, but rather he never really learned to play either position at an elite level. He learned them both at a high school level, but in college he usually had a designated target to block, often a linebacker, and that was it.

          He didn’t have to protect the pocket much, for example, because pocket passing was inherently not part of Auburn’s offensive identity, hence, he wasn’t taught, hence, moving to guard before moving up to tackle. Protecting the pocket wasn’t important in Auburn’s offense but it’s inherently unavoidable to any pro team.

          Robinson a giant, and he’s fast. It worked almost perfectly for him at Auburn and, with the right skill set, he might learn to do the same in the NFL.

          But he’s struggling because Auburn didn’t teach him the skill sets he would have learned at a place like Alabama, for example.

          So yes, it does have to do with Auburn, Malzahn, and the HUNHNS. I get that you don’t like criticism——–most people don’t. But this is a side effect of the HUNHNS. Own it or complain to Auburn about it.

          • 6
            Gibson

            Again, did you read the article? There was nothing even mentioned about the HUNH, just the playbook. He is raw, but many players in the draft are raw. Again I ask, how has the offense he played in college affected him negatively? Are you at his practices? Do you see exactly what he is struggling with? He was the #2 overall pick. If NFL scouts had any concerns at all, they would not have invested $20+ million in him.

            I don’t attend his practices. From the article I read, it sounds like he is struggling because he is learning a new position. I guess I’m not reading between the lines like you, coach.

            “But he’s struggling because Auburn didn’t teach him the skill sets he would have learned at a place like Alabama, for example.”

            So, no former Saban linemen struggle in the pros? Are they not better prepared? Why didn’t Cyrus K go higher in the draft. Did he not learn the position better at Alabama?

          • 7
            ITK

            He is struggling with pass protection because in Gustavo’s system you never truly have to protect the pocket. It’s cut-corner city for linemen, which I bet NFL scouts are gonna love. Especially after having to re-teach Robinson how to walk with NFL legs. There are already tweets going out about the angst fans are having over the Rams using their #1 pick on him.

          • 8
            nope

            Now you’re just being defensive.

            For example, no, I didn’t go to his practices. For all I know, it’s way, way worse than the guy who himself is saying he’s struggling worse than when he originally said it looked like it was going to be tough.

            He is raw, but rookies are raw? Well, that’s exactly right. I actually mentioned that myself, and that he might end up being a star in the NFL. Don’t be so defensive and Scientology on me, please?

            The HUNH was the playbook. The HUNH under Malzahn is inherently based on a limited number of plays with a select number of variables and options that can be changed on-the-fly BY NATURE.

            Remember, he didn’t study playbooks; he studied placards on the sidelines with pictures on them. It’s not an insult, so don’t get outright defensive—-it’s a characteristic.

            No former lineb…wait…what?! That’s a huge step. You are angry—-it’s clouding your judgment. I get that you hate Alabama. I do. That’s why you’re here, it sounds like.

            But one of the very frequent praises of Alabama’s players as they head into the NFL is they know playbooks and skill sets at an impressive level. Want to know why Cyrus K didn’t go higher in the draft? He’s not 6’5″ with a sub-5-second 40 at over 300 pounds. Robinson IS that guy—-he’s a natural beast and he didn’t get the training at Auburn he needs in the pros.

            But Cyrus K? He’s not that guy. I’d like to suggest the skill set he learned at Alabama helped him land a gig that he wouldn’t have earned at his size and speed with the skill set he would have learned at Auburn.

            So when I say HE (Robinson himself) is struggling because he didn’t learn the skillsets he would have learned at Alabama, isn’t that also exactly what he’s saying? Why are you mad at that? Because Auburn didn’t prepare him or because I said it?

            Like, it sounds like you don’t even believe me? Because I said it on an Alabama site, you think it’s an insult? Maybe look at some Rams sites? He’s back at guard until he can be at tackle. Good grief.

        • 9
          ITK

          Well make sure you read beyond my article. I was pointing out what MANY, MANY others are saying. This story didn’t originate with me.

        • 10
          Crimsonite

          Are you fuking retarded or just plain stupid. Robinson said in plain fuking English that the Barnrat offense was plain vanilla and that he isn’t use to a real play book and that he has a ton to learn. Stupid fuker, there is no problem moving from guard to tackle or visa versa. Barrett Jones played guard, tackle and center and was All American at all three. Rookie DJ Fluker moved from tackle to guard halfway through the NFL season and made the Pro Bowl. So come on you stupid POS, make up some more dumbass lies and excuses for your dumbass football team.

          • 11
            ITK

            @Crimsonite

            You gotta understand, when you start shedding the light of truth on a barner’s fantasies, they don’t take it well.

            They desperately want to believe Gustav’s offense is a magic elixer that gives them the significance they’ve craved their entire lives.

            And they desperately want to believe what they saw last season was real; the new norm if you will.

            That’s why this and future seasons will be so pleasureable. Their quarterback can’t spell his own name (or speak coherently). It isn’t hard to figure out what they do. Their momentary flash is over. Now comes reality, and that upsets them. (But it doesn’t make it any less fun when it does.)

    • 12
      ITK

      Robinson has the tools to be a good NFL lineman, but it won’t because of any tutelage he received down on the farm, at least not under Gustavo.

  2. 13
    AU FAN

    It has already made a HUGE impact on recruiting. “4-Star OL Tyler Carr announces commitment to Tigers over Alabama and others…” Bleacher Report. Oh wait…

  3. 21
    peachy

    Didn’t Mel Kiper say Nick Saban doesn’t prepare his players for the NFL and that’s why so many of them struggle when they get there?

    • 22
      pete4tide

      peach – for real – do you need a listing of the Bama players who are performing at an extremely high level in the NFL? I could just as easily point out one or two Barn players who were NFL duds, just like some of Bama’s didn’t pan out. But you are just trying to flame here, and that’s what I’ve grown to expect from you. Never anything that actually took any thought to type up, just s**t from a 2-bit hack of a Boog fan. You’d actually be fun to debate if you ever made a real point in your posts, but you seem to be perfectly happy to flame away with your lightweight Twitter-like postings on a Bama site. I’m sure CR appreciates your attendance, but, for the most part, you are the gnat flying around the bull’s ass – you are at best annoying, but rarely much of a threat, especially intellectually. Go play somewhere else where you might be appreciated, like on a Boog site.

      • 24
        ITK

        Peachy reminds me of a 4-foot midget jumping up and down in a crowd to make sure everybody sees him “down there.” He’s a boy among men, Pete, completely consumed with “little barner syndrome.”

        • 25
          bamabino

          Anyone who quotes Kiper is a bigger buffoon than he is. I can’t think of a more useless position than an NFL mock draft analyst. Bama has had 14 1st round draft picks under Saban 2008 to 2013, At the end of last season, 11 of them were NFL starters. McClain is the only one that could qualify as a bust. Barner Fife on other hand has only had 2 over that time, both busts. Cam Newton and Nick Fairly. Detroit has already opted not to renew Fairly due to laziness and being a clubhouse cancer. Newton is a .500 QB with one playoff appearance and one playoff choke job. Carolina’s not getting much in return for their overall 1st pick investment on that deal.

          • 26
            ITK

            I wouldn’t say Newton is an absolute bust, but he definitely isn’t the QB our orange and blue little brothers hoped he’d be. That’s as certain as the ‘made up, online classes’ he took in his one semester in school there. Fairly had to get clean for the NFL drug tests, and boom. He’s nothing again.

    • 27
      The Conduit

      @peachy

      No no, you’re thinking of what Greg Robinson said about Auburn not preparing him for the NFL. I found a story about it.

    • 28
      ITK

      I’ve actually never heard him say that. I can’t believe an NFL analyst could make a broad sweeping statement like that and maintain any integrity about them. Sounded good in a CR comment box though. Well done!

      • 29
        peachy

        “Alabama’s defensive players in general have struggled in the NFL,” Kiper Jr. said. “Not just one or two. It’s a pretty good list of names you can throw out there of guys that have not gotten it done on the defensive side of the ball. Mark Barron still hasn’t played up to the level you thought he would. That’s a concern to me.”

        On an ESPN conference call Wednesday, Kiper, the network’s draft guru, said Alabama has had a history of recent defensive players who haven’t excelled in the NFL after playing for Nick Saban.

        “Is it a trend,” Kiper said. “Is it one or two? No, it’s more than that. You got back to Kareem Jackson, Mark Barron. You look at Dre Kirkpatrick, Rolando McClain and his situation. You look at Terrence Cody. the list goes on and on.”

        • 30
          ITK

          Source? Nevermind, doesn’t matter.

          CJ Mosely and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix not being taken in this year’s 1st round proves he’s right.

          Oh wait…

        • 31
          Crimsonite

          Does anyone give a shit what Kiper says? When was the last time Kiper actually drafted an NFL Player. This pastdraft shows exactly how little people like Kiper actually know. Onlt a damn Barnturd would look for something that worthless, stupid and untrue to come on a Bama site and try to flame us with it. You must kead an exciting life, bitch.

  4. 32
    crimson hammah

    do not be deceived carr was exposed at the camps as mediocre at best legit scouts will drop him to a 3 star

  5. 33
    crimson hammah

    if nfl ready is a goal for any player they’d be freakin stupid to sign with the barn that is a proven fact for decades

    • 42
      afan2

      Capstonereport moto – Never let the truth get in the way of our obsession with Auburn…

      http://espn.go.com/blog/st-louis-rams/post/_/id/9501/robinsons-move-a-work-in-progress

      “….From the outside, the move from left tackle, a position widely regarded as the toughest to play because of the athleticism and ability of the top pass-rushers, to guard might seem simple enough but Robinson says there’s more to it than meets the eye. And since Robinson hasn’t played inside since high school, he’s essentially starting from scratch.

      “It’s just everything happens faster inside,” Robinson said. “Outside you have a little more time to kick. The guys are faster but these guys are just quick and trained to rush the passer. It’s just about keeping my feet working and knowing when to pull.

      “Right now it’s a lot of thinking going on, it causes me to move a little slower. Once I get up to speed, I can move with the snap count and stuff like that.”

      Robinson also isn’t getting much of a break in terms of working his way up slowly. He’s been taking repetitions with the first team offense at left guard from the moment he arrived in St. Louis and has been working exclusively in that spot during OTAs. Since those practices aren’t padded and don’t allow for contact, it’s been even more difficult for him to gauge his progress.

      But offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is pleased with the rate of Robinson’s improvement while acknowledging that it isn’t going to happen overnight.

      “I think it’s going to be an adjustment,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s doing good. New system, new position … it’s going to take a little time. You can see out there how naturally talented he is, how strong he is, how athletic he is, but there’s been some growing pains and there will be.”……”

  6. 43
    Crimsonite

    Do any of you Barnturd retards ever read, or can you even read? Do you know what your history is? Try comparing your history to Bama’s, or Georgia’s, or Tennessee’s, or Florida’s, or LSU’s; and that’s just in the SEC. You win a game and you start running your fuking mouths like you’re the replacement for Notre Dame or something. You people are masochists. You just continuously run your mouths writing checks your asses can’t cash!

  7. 44
    Crimsonite

    Oh yeah, and Kiper has a hard on for Bama and Saban because Saban disagreed with Kipers assessment of certain Bama players. So you can take Kipers comments and shove them up both of uour asses.

  8. 45
    Crimsonite

    How damn funny! The Barnturd’s star 1st round draft choice Robinson is having trouble adjusting to the NFL becausr Aubies play book was so simple and he didn’t learn everything he needed to at the Barn. But Bsma’s star Nose Guard Jessie Williams said Bama’s play book is more difficult than the World Champion Seattle Seahawks is. And before you say anything, Jessie changed positiins too and is playing Guard, not Nose Guard and that is a completely different position. Hmmm, completely opposite situations.

  9. 46
    Fanny

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