One of the standout players at Minnesota Vikings training camp, at least in the eyes of head coach Mike Zimmer, has been linebacker Edmond Robinson. He was a seventh-round draft pick last season, but his size and athleticism got all of the coaches excited about his potential.
Robinson appeared to tap into that potential a little more this offseason, as Zimmer just came out and said he looked good in training camp. Zimmer does not just do that on his own very often, so it was clear that Robinson was doing a lot of things right and developing nicely as an NFL linebacker.
Everything seemed to be going well for the second-year player. He was getting work in with the second-team defense and was getting more comfortable with his different responsibilities. However, it became a surprise to most people when he was one of the players not participating in the team’s night practice on Saturday. He had been participating in all practices prior to that and no one saw him do anything that made it look as though he injured himself.
“It was just something between me and the coaches, and if you want to get in technical with that, then you can discuss that with (Zimmer),” Robinson said after he sat out during Monday’s morning walk-through. “I’ll be back out there sooner than later and be ready to go again.”
He said that it’s nothing too serious, or anything he is really worried about. He feels fine and knows he will be ready to go whenever he is able to get back out onto the field.
The hardest part about missing time for any player is not being able to get comfortable out on the field, doing everything the coaches are asking of them and working with the players around them. Instead, they are stuck on the sideline taking mental reps, and while that is certainly better than nothing, Robinson said it can become a little challenging mentally.
“It’s just like when you’re out there, you want to be out there playing, so sometimes you may just be out there and you may lose your focus at times because you’re not (on the field),” he explained. “But that’s what I’m saying, you have to stay in there, stay mentally focused, and then just pay attention to each play that’s going on and just go out there and do your job whenever the next time comes around.”
The one benefit to not being able to participate out on the field is that Robinson now gets that chance to discuss what is happening out on the field more often. He will pay attention to the plays, take his mental reps, but then also ask people like Zimmer and veteran linebacker Chad Greenway about different things he saw, which is not something he’d be able to do if he were always out on the field participating.
“I take advantage of having both of them on the sideline when I’m out there,” he said. “Whether it’s talking to Coach Zim, or talking to Chad, or talking to Anthony (Barr) when he’s out there. Just getting coaching tips on small little things that can help me tweak my game and be a better player.”
It’s still not clear what exactly is wrong with Robinson, but it doesn’t seem to be serious. He seems confident that he’ll be back out on the field before too long and continuing right where he left off.