Q&A with Tyrone Robertson

Second-year defensive tackle Tyrone Robertson played in 12 games last season, but so far this year has been inactive. Instead, Buffalo has tapped fellow second-year player Ron Edwards to start at under tackle, next to Pat Williams, and rookie Justin Bannan to back Edwards and Williams up. Robertson doesn't seem fazed by his lack of participation. In June mini-camp and early training camp, he was playing first-team under tackle ...

but lost the spot to Edwards right before the first week of the season. Now Bannan is also in front of him.

A pleasant guy, Robertson reminds me of Erik Flowers in his demeanor – not too perturbed about someone coming in and taking his spot. It's certainly unlike when I talked to Dusty Zeigler in 1999 training camp after Jerry Ostroski took over at starting center and he was demoted to backup.

"I f^%*% pissed," Zeigler yelled at me before heading into the locker room at Fredonia.

End of interview.

Now that's fire. That's a guy who hates sitting. It's not surprising Zeigler went on to start every game at center for the Giants in 2000 and 2001, helping them get to the Super Bowl two years ago.

Robertson, on the other hand, is passive. Maybe that's a style that works for him, I don't know. But that attitude, combined with not suiting up, makes me wonder if his passiveness is leading him down the same road out of Buffalo that Flowers took. Here's a Shout! exclusive interview with him.

Mike Doser: Tyrone, you were starting with the first-team line in mini-camp and through training camp. Now you're on the inactive list the last two Sundays. What do you think about that?

Tyrone Robertson: I thought it was the best thing for the team. We always get reps and maybe the other guys are doing a little better than me at this time, but it's whoever is playing the best at the time is going to play. The coaches take a look at the situation during the week. They make the decision. I have no problem with the decision. I want to win some games. I just want to be happy in Buffalo and hopefully everything will work out for the team.

MD: Doesn't it bother you not to even suit up?

TR: I think it just came in the numbers. There are so many numbers. We're gonna dress 46. It's understandable. I didn't dress for a few games last year. It's no big problem. I don't need an explanation. You don't know who's suiting up this week. You don't know who's suiting up next week. As long as we win games, I don't care who's suiting up. I really don't.

MD: What do you think about rookie Justin Bannan playing in front of you, when you got a substantial amount of play last year?

TR: Oh, you're talking about competitive nature. It's competitive nature that you want to be out there instead of someone else. But you just got to be professional about it: "Hey, let him do his job. Hopefully, he does a better job than I do." I just root him on, help him out in any way I can. I'm on the sidelines cheering him on. Of course, I want to be out there. But if I'm not, I'm not going to be disgruntled.

MD: What do you have to improve? What are they looking for in you?

TR: They want me to get on the edge. They want us to do a lot of things. It's a combination. It's more like they want a person with everything all-in-one, combined with who's getting there the fastest. They want everything. Justin's a bigger dude. They might have wanted a bigger guy. I don't know. I didn't ask any questions. I didn't need any questions asked. I just wanna win the game on Sunday. All I wanna do is win. Whatever helps the team, that's what I'm for.

MD: Do you think the fact that you didn't ask questions might indicate that perhaps you're not that interested?

TR: Oh no, I practice hard. They know I want to play. You can see it through my enthusiasm on the sideline. It's not a competitive thing, but we wouldn't be here if we weren't competitive. This part [the possibility of me being a distraction if I'm not playing] they don't have to worry about.


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