NFL techniques challenging rookie Robinson

Edmond Robinson has the athleticism and size, but the techniques he’s being taught are challenging the Newberry alumnus.

It hasn’t been an easy training camp for rookie outside linebacker Edmond Robinson, but he still feels like things are going well. The Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the seventh round, pick 232nd overall, with their final pick of the draft.

The rookie played his college football at Newberry College, which is a Division II school and has an enrollment of just over 1,000 students. While there, he was used primarily in pass coverage, even though he was an outside linebacker, so there has been a lot for him to learn this training camp.

“Coming from Newberry, I played outside linebacker as more of a rover player so I was always coming down in the slot playing a lot of man coverage,” he said. “So here, coming back to Minnesota it’s been a lot different for me, but I’ve been adapting to it taking on blockers by offensive linemen. So everything has been going pretty smooth. Some days are better than others, but I’m improving everyday.”

When asked if the size and speed of his opponents, compared to what he faced at the Division II level, have made things hard, he said no. Instead, he pointed out that it is more technique things that are challenging and he is trying to pick up on.

Luckily for him, he has a lot of talented linebackers around him who are all willing to help him out and dispense advice. He is also getting a lot of help from the coaching staff. They all realize that he is a very raw player that is going to need extra help, but they also have the same level of expectations for him as they do with every other player.

“Yes, they’ve been bringing me along,” he said about his coaches and teammates. “They do understand that I come from a different system and a smaller school, but bringing me along and treating me like everyone else, expecting nothing less than 100 percent, so I’m doing everything I can.”

When asked about Robinson’s development, head coach Mike Zimmer said that he is right about where they expected him to be.

“He played more of a cover-down linebacker in college, so he’s progressing about like we expect him to,” Zimmer said. “There’s obviously a lot of new learning for him and understanding that it’s not like college, but that’s OK. He’s got time to learn and he’ll continue to do so, and Adam (Zimmer, the linebackers coach) has done a good job teaching him.”

Mike Zimmer has said in the past that he has liked Robinson because he is a big, lanky player but is still very athletic. He is also a very versatile player, since he played mostly in pass coverage in college, and that gives the defensive-minded coach a lot of possibilities with how he could use him.

It is still a long offseason ahead of the rookie, and there is not even a guarantee that he will make the team, so for now he is just trying to work hard, learn his craft and hopefully earn a roster spot.

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