Robbins Gets the Start

All offseason it was assumed that William Joseph would be one of the Giants starting defensive tackles and that the other spot was still up for grabs. That all changed Thursday night when the coaching staff told seven-year veteran Fred Robbins that he would indeed be the starting nose tackle and lining up alongside Joseph when camp began.

"It was a good feeling but now I have to go out there and perform," said Robbins, who beat out youngsters such as Jonas Seawright, Damane Duckett and Barry Cofield for the spot.

While Robbins, who started only six games last season, has mostly played off the nose while with the Giants, he is now being charged with lining up directly across from the opposing center.

"It's going to be a change but I can handle it," Robbins said. "That's what I came into the league playing. First string is better than anything."

Robbins was beyond disappointed last summer when he showed up to Albany and was relegated to third-string. So he worked especially hard this offseason to get himself into the best possible shape. He lost at least 15 pounds from last season and is currently weighing in at 315.

“I trained hard this offseason and wanted to put on a good display and show what I could do,” he said. "That's what I did and it paid off but I have to keep it up. I was never a sloppy guy but I wanted to be a little more toned."

Now Robbins is just focusing on the task at hand. "Last year was last year, you have to move on," he said. "This year I'm getting a good opportunity. I’m confident in what I can do."

 The defensive player most affected by the DTs is middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, who seems pleased to have big number 98 lining up in front of him.

"Fred worked hard this offseason," Pierce said. "He deserved it. He's seen the plays before. It's always good to have an older guy there."

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