"Clearly, a year ago he had the wrist problems and that will affect your overall strength," Dick Jauron. "Initially, your reaction is, he won't be able to able to work his upper body but it affects everything. Really, it will affect your lower body too in terms of certain lower body movements, maybe the squat, holding the barbell things of that nature."
Despite not being 100 percent Robinson started the season. He had so much difficulty with his wrists that the team moved him from left to right end when Phillip Daniels went down with an ankle sprain in the Season Opener.
Following consecutive loses to Buffalo and Green Bay the Bears were 2-2 heading to Detroit. On the verge of the pivotal road game, Robinson was charged with a DUI, which turned out to be his second in since June. The Bears lost the game in overtime and Robinson's consecutive start streak ended the next week at 59 games.
The Bears run defense dropped from second in the league during the 2001 season to 26th last year. Much of the blame fell on Robinson because of his new contract and problems off the field.
Robinson seems to have rededicated himself. He trained with Daniels in Atlanta before coming back to Chicago to participate in the team's offseason program that started March 24. Robinson's work is paying early dividends, as he was the talk of the team's mini-camp.
"I would say that B-Rob looked stronger and maybe bigger than he was a year ago," Jauron said.
The team has three veterans competing for time at defensive tackle. Robinson, Washington and Keith Traylor, who could be released before training camp. If the team keeps all three then they have a solid rotation. Daniels would move inside on passing situations with Robinson allowing Brown and first-round pick Michael Haynes to rush from the edge.
This is the most depth the team has had on the defensive line since Jauron has been at the helm. Difficult decisions could be ahead when the team has to trim the roster to 53. The Bears are currently carrying 16 defensive linemen, but will likely start the season with nine.
"Competition is good; I like competition and that is what we hope to create when we go into camp," said Bears GM Jerry Angelo.
At this point, everyone associated with the organization is positive about Robinson's future. However, if his work doesn't turn into production then Robinson could become a salary cap casualty that would hurt the team far beyond the length of his contract.