June 19, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Ex-Wolverine Denard Robinson sheds 'OW' label, ready to 'make plays' for Jaguars

Jaguars running backs Beau Blankenship and Denard Robinson celebrate a play against the defense in minicamp on Tuesday. (John Raoux / Associated Press)

Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is no longer an "offensive weapon" with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Robinson, now in his second season in the NFL, has had a strong offseason and has the Jaguars encouraged about his role as a backup to running back Toby Gerhart.

"Denard couldn't catch a cold last season, but he's had the best offseason of anyone," radio analyst Jeff Lagemen, a former Jaguars defensive end, told USA Today.

Last year, after selecting Robinson in the fifth round of the NFL draft, the Jaguars listed him as an "OW" (offensive weapon) on their roster. But a right hand injury suffered by Robinson during his senior season at Michigan lingered during his rookie year with the Jaguars. Robinson rushed for just 66 yards on 20 carries, did not catch a pass, and attempted just one pass in 2013.

"We knew the transition from quarterback to running back would take some time when we drafted D-Rob," said Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell. "He really had just limited use of his right hand last season."

Robinson, who was named Michigan's MVP in 2010 and 2011, is eager for the Jaguars' season to get underway: "All offseason I've been working on regaining strength in my hand. I feel comfortable now where I can make plays happen without thinking. I want to be a dangerous playmaker. When they give me the ball, I want to be that guy where everybody in the stadium goes, 'Whoa!'"