Robinson calls performance ‘very frustrating’

Josh Robinson expects to be targeted often by the Detroit Lions after an “aggravating” and “very frustrating” performance Sunday.

After another performance that saw Josh Robinson give up a touchdown, the Minnesota Vikings cornerback expects to have the Detroit Lions targeting him with Calvin Johnson on Sunday.

Robinson struggled on Nov. 16 against the Chicago Bears’ bigger receivers, and Johnson is widely considered the best of the big receivers in the league today.

“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it,” Robinson said. “I’ve played Calvin four times so I look forward to another time to play a great receiver and compete and try to make a play.”

It wasn’t the big receivers that hurt Robinson as much last Sunday against the New York Jets. It was former Viking Percy Harvin.

Harvin made Robinson look bad on two first-half receptions. Robinson sees a recurring theme, and it’s one he is as tired of talking about as fans are seeing it happen.

“He’s a good receiver, but on all my plays on these deep balls that I keep giving up I’m in position,” Robinson said. “And I’m sick of saying ‘being in position and not making a play.’ It’s frustrating as a defensive back to continue to do that.

“I think I need to turn my head around a little bit earlier so I can find the ball better, and then, two, just go for the ball. Go up for the ball; stop waiting and just go get it.”

On the first one, a 35-yard touchdown pass to Harvin, Robinson was stride for stride with the speedy receiver, but when the ball was overthrown, Harvin slowed to go get the ball and Robinson stumbled past him.

“A lot of it is technique; he lets his technique slide,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “And then some of it is, when things aren’t going good for you, you have to burr up and fight the demons a little bit.”

On the second reception Robinson gave up to Harvin, the receiver ran a stop route on first-and-15 and Robinson once again kept going until it was too late. Harvin caught the ball one yard short of the first down and still had time to get up and first for a first down on a 17-yard reception.

Robinson called it “aggravating” and “very frustrating” to be in position and not make a play.

“You’ve got to get in there and compete,” Zimmer said. “So, some of it’s a little lack of confidence I think, when things struggle for him. He has all of the ability to do it, just whether or not he can muster up when it’s time to go.”

Robinson has been targeted 66 times and given up 40 receptions on the season, according to Pro Football Focus, with quarterbacks having a 98.9 passer rating against him. Yet the analytical site still has him ranked as the 36th-best cornerback in the league. The site has him giving up five of six passes targeted his way for 94 yards on Sunday, with Geno Smith having a perfect 158.3 rating against him.

Robinson repeated his mantra that he’s in position but not making the plays, but he believes the coaches still have confidence in him, as he continues to be used as the third cornerback.

“Yeah, they’re confident in who they have,” Robinson said, “and I’m going to keep trying to prove them right and work to do better.”

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