Friday Notes

LAKE FOREST – The '04 draft class got their official introduction to life in the NFL on Friday. Even a rookie nicknamed "Tank" couldn't escape the clutches of a wily veteran.

Olin Kreutz, who played for Washington from 1995-97, gave no preferential treatment to a fellow Husky, Terry Johnson, as he threw the rookie to the ground during a one-on-one drill.

"Well Olin is the man," said Bryan Robinson, who spent time during drills working with Johnson and Tommie Harris. "Some guys don't care who you are and Olin is one of those guys. Whether you're a ‘Tank' or a ‘bug' or whatever Olin is going to treat you the same way."

Kreutz and Johnson never played together at Washington, but the Bears second-round pick has been an admirer of the three-time Pro Bowl center's work.

"The speed, going against a dude like Olin Kreutz, he's someone I looked up to at Washington and getting to go against him at the next level is an experience," Johnson said.

Robinson, the elder statesman of the defense, is heading into his seventh year in the league. He's the only member of the unit that has played for Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron and now Lovie Smith.

The influx of talent at defensive tackle hasn't intimidated Robinson. In fact, he's embraced a mentor role with Harris and Johnson as his pupils. Part of the reason Robinson is being a team player is when he was undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 1997 the crop of veterans with the Rams were less than helpful.

"It seemed like the veterans always gave me the wrong information," Robinson said. "If I was supposed to go left they told me go right, things like that. I can't say who did it, but I was on a line with Leslie O'Neal, D'Marco Farr, Kevin Carter, so to them it was kind of funny. But it just made me feel if ever I got into that position it's not a way to treat a young guy."

Robinson may be in the giving mood, but the fact is the defense needs Harris and Johnson to be major contributors as rookies.

"You're not in the position where you can wait a year. We need you right now," Robinson said. "You've got time but you need to hurry up. Go back to school, take your notes and study, but when you're here you need to get it right away because they didn't spend a first and second round (pick) for you to (learn)."


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