Lions' Robinson makes himself handy in minicamp

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson catches some balls from the passing machine at the end of practice.

Allen Park — Many of the slimmer Lions players — defensive backs and wide receivers, in particular — spend a few minutes catching quick passes from the JUGS machine after practice.

Rookie defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson jumped in on Tuesday. He caught all 40.

And Robinson’s goal isn’t actually to improving his receiving skills.

“Really, I do it just to work on my hands, hand quickness, to make sure my hand-eye coordination (improves),” he said.

Robinson said he played a bit of tight end and fullback at Alabama, though he doesn’t have any offensive statistics from his three seasons. Although it seemed a bit irregular, Robinson said he worked with the JUGS machine at Alabama and that Tuesday wasn’t the first time he’d done so with the Lions.

Jim Caldwell said it’s not surprising to see a multi-talented defensive linemen, and Robinson obviously isn’t the first defensive linemen to work on his hands after practice.

“Have you seen Haloti (Ngata) throw the ball, catch the ball? Haloti played some fullback,” Caldwell said. “You’ve probably seen (Riley) Reiff, played some quarterback. So, there are a lot really good athletes that are playing in those lines that are doing a pretty good job, and Ziggy (Ansah) obviously with his speed. So, it’s not uncommon, not at this level.”

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The 312-pound Robinson said his teammates haven’t made jokes about his additional work.

“He wants to get an extra sweat,” defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker said.

Extra points

There have been several penalty flags in the first two minicamp practices, but Jim Caldwell said that’s not surprising because the team should have issues to work on at this point in the offseason.

… The same players who missed Tuesday’s practice were out again Wednesday — running backs Ameer Abdullah and Stevan Ridley, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, wide receiver Corey Fuller, defensive tackles Caraun Reid and Stefan Charles, offensive tackle Corey Robinson and defensive back Charles Washington.

… Linebacker Stephen Tulloch remains absent, though he’s excused.