T-Rob Battling To Make NFL Squad

Former Tiger Travaris Robinson discusses his quest to make the Atlanta Falcons as a rookie defensive back.

Atlanta, Ga.--Travaris Robinson has survived the first round of training camp and cuts as he tries to reach his dream of playing in the National Football League.

According to AU coaches who have talked with the Falcons' staff, T-Rob has impressed the NFL team with his hustle and all-around athletic ability. He will be back in Atlanta this week for more workouts with the Falcons as that team prepares for the exhibition season that begins in August.

Travaris Robinson (left) displays his swing at a golf outing in Orlando prior to Auburn's bowl victory over Penn State as Coach Tommy Tuberville watches.

Robinson, who played free safety last year, is also working at cornerback with the Falcons, another position he played as a Tiger in addition to also working at wide receiver. That versatility is a plus, Robinson says.

"At first, it seemed like a disadvantage when I was at Auburn because people were saying it looked like I couldn't really find a home," Robinson tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "However, it has turned out for the best because being able to play cornerback and free safety has enhanced my chances of making the team."

With Gene Chizik taking over the defense in 2002, Robinson was moved from cornerback to free safety and blossomed at the position. He finished with 94 tackles and intercepted four passes. Along the way he won high praise from Chizik, who has nothing but good things to say about T-Rob as a player and person.

"Everything is going well," Robinson says. "I had a chance to get adjusted to the system with the Falcons. It is a very good experience for me. Auburn prepared me very well for it. They said it would be a lot of different, but right now I am feeling good. The competition level is very high just like it was at Auburn.

"They just told me to keep doing what I am doing--don't get complacent out there, just continue to work hard. That is something that was instilled in me at Auburn. I am going to continue to do what has gotten me there and if I can do that everything should be fine."

The Falcons open their exhibition season on August 9th at the Georgia Dome with a game vs. the Green Bay Packers. On the 16th the Falcons will entertain Baltimore before hitting the road for exhibition games on the 22nd at Miami and the 28th at Cleveland. The regular season starts on Sept. 7th at Dallas.

Robinson was second on the AU team in tackles last season, trailing only linebacker Mark Brown.

Chizik says he hopes Robinson makes the club and says that he gave the safety a high recommendation when the Falcons considered signing him. "Coach Chizik has got a lot of confidence in me so do the Auburn fans," Robinson says. "I want to go in and do my best and make everybody proud.

"Growing up I always wanted to play football and go to the NFL. Right now, everything looks good. I have got my opportunity. I am feeling confident about it. I am healthy and now it is time to go out there and make it happen."

Robinson, who was a free agent signee, realizes that it won't be easy to make the team. "Everybody is so fast," he notes. "You have got to get used to that. I haven't played against guys like (wide receiver) Peerless Price and (quarterback) Michael Vick. Those guys make you stay on your Ps and Qs. You don't have time to rest because they will always find the weak spot.

"I am working on my technique, my quickness and a lot of the little things that are necessary to succeed in the NFL. A lot of veteran guys have talked to me about the little things--the tricks of the trade--and I am trying to learn them."

Chizik told T-Rob to show the same style of play that made him successful as an Auburn senior, particularly late in the season when he played like a human buzzsaw, attacking anything that got in his way. "I think I am being aggressive," Robinson says. "I am trying to be active like Coach Chizik is always talking about. I want to stay focused and not make mistakes. I was extremely happy about my senior season. My dream has come true with my chance to the play in the NFL. I am just going to try to continue to work hard and get better."

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