Robinson, the defensive coordinator, said after Wednesday's practice the changes could be "temporary." He hopes that the message that he wants more aggressive hitters reaches some that have moved from the first to the second team.
"We wanted to see who demonstrated courage and ran full speed to the ball and not try to run around blocks," Robinson said of the changes. "In our depth chart, we moved up some guys because we want to make sure guys will tackle. We want to make sure they know it's not okay to miss a tackle."
Freshman Terrell Williams was inserted in the first unit at will linebacker. Jerry Franklin, the previous No. 1 at WLB, moved to first team middle linebacker ahead of Wendel Davis. Jake Bequette moved back to first team end ahead of Demario Ambrose. Jerell Norton moved ahead of Matt Harris at free safety. Rudell Crim switched sides of the field, moving to first team at field corner ahead of Greg Gatson.
"The players who moved down are aware of why this has been done," Robinson said. "We don't like a lot of cookie dusters. These positions may be temporary. We don't think the guys (who were moved down) are going to quit. We expect them to fight back.
"We want them to establish courage. Football is a contact sport. We want them to tackle and take on blockers. We don't want them to avoid blocks and be physical. We don't want them avoiding things.
"You've seen our drills and what we emphasize. We take on contact."
That doesn't mean those moving up the depth chart are having a wonderful time with their first-team status over the last two days.
"Some of them found out it's not as easy as it looks," Robinson said. "For example, Norton has sat in the air conditioned meeting room and can tell you exactly what we are doing. But when the bullets fly, it's not as easy.
"I hope Matt Harris competes for that job. I hope that big beautiful No. 1 (Anthony Leon) can get on the field.
"We think the young ones back there -- Jerell Norton, David Gordon, Darius Winston and Rudell Crim -- are going to learn it. I'm impressed with them. I hear their comments in the meeting room and they know it. But they still have to do it on the field. We are seeing growth at that position."
Robinson also noted progress from junior college cornerback Andru Stewart.
"He moved up to second at the boundary corner," Robinson said of Stewart. "He made plays in the scrimmage and was physical."
Robinson was asked about the progress in the defensive line.
"Jake Bequette is as close to a pro football player as we have got in that group (in the defensive front)," Robinson said, noting later that Bequette had moved back to first team after working behind Ambrose for most of the last two weeks. "Zack Stadther is a rock inside. Adrian Davis has made tremendous strides. Malcolm Sheppard just needs to play with more discipline in regards to the scheme. Dede Jones has been very impressive. I think Demario Ambrose and Caleb Evans have stepped up, too."
Robinson said Crim is making progress at cornerback.
"He's doing good," Robinson said. "He's so concientious. He's too hard on himself. I had to have a talk out there at practice today about that. He's making strides."