Greg Robinson says transition to Lions has been tough
Allen Park — Detroit Lions offensive tackle Greg Robinson isn’t going to sugarcoat it — the transition has been difficult.
Acquired in a mid-June trade, directly before the lengthy layoff before training camp, Robinson has struggled with his acclimation after three years with the Rams.
“That’s the biggest thing I’m catching up on,” Robinson said, when asked about learning the playbook. “Missing OTAs and those things put me behind a bit. Mainly, I’m just focusing on picking it up the best I can and progressing every day.”
Even though the offensive schemes in Los Angeles and Detroit share many similarities, the play calls all have different names. Think of it like learning a foreign language. You do your best to make correlations, but it takes time.
Missing the early portions of the offseason program, Robinson missed the period when the rest of the roster went through multiple installations of the offense. He had to start from scratch, working on his own during the team’s summer vacation.
In addition to learning the playbook, Robinson has been asked to adjust the way he blocks, a transition that’s been equally as difficult.
“Honestly, it’s going to take a little adjusting,” Robinson said. “I’ve been trying to take the coaching from (offensive line) coach (Ron) Prince and do it the way he wants us doing it and incorporating my own things into the game I feel help me that I feel separates me.
“A few of the zone steps are a lot different, and getting (what I’m used to doing) out of my technique, out of my muscle memory has been a challenge for these past few days. I think slowly it will come along.”
Geoff Schwartz, a free-agent offensive lineman who spent training camp with the Lions last season, wrote an interesting piece for SB Nation. In the article, he suggested the Lions’ blocking style was an ideal fit for Robinson, who has failed to live up to his potential as a former No. 2 overall draft pick.
Robinson’s so early in the learning process that he can’t even conceptualize how these new techniques are better for his skill set
“Honestly, no,” he said. “Once I get it down pat and I can really see the benefits of it, then eventually I’ll be able to commend him on that. Right now, it’s going to take a lot of adjusting.”
Robinson has worked with the first-team offense the past two days, sharing reps with Cyrus Kouandjio, who was added to the roster on the same day in June. The two are the leading contenders to fill in for Taylor Decker, while he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.
Robinson anticipates he’ll feel much more comfortable after another week of practice and coach Jim Caldwell is also counting on it.
“I would not suspect it to take him long to be able to get the techniques and fundamentals down,” Caldwell said. “He’s one of the better athletes that you’ll find at that position, so there’s probably not a whole lot from an athletic standpoint that he can’t do. He can bend his knees, he can move, he’s big, he’s strong, so I think he can adapt and adapt very well.”