Robinson Embraces Prove-it Deal with Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Patrick Robinson wasn't a sexy signing for the Philadelphia Eagles but he was an important one.
The veteran cornerback is expected to add some much-needed savvy to perhaps Philadelphia's most precarious position in which there is little proven talent on hand.
The starters from last season -- Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll -- are gone and the only real veteran option left is Ron Brooks, a nickel back coming off a ruptured quad tendon who just took a nearly $1 million pay cut.
Enter Robinson, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal earlier this week as a former first-round pick trying to rebuild his reputation after a lost year in Indianapolis in which the Florida State product played just seven games due to a sports hernia.
Injuries have hampered Robinson throughout his pro career. He has played 16 games just twice since entering the NFL in 2010 as the 32nd overall pick to the New Orleans Saints and Robinson is now in his fourth stop in four seasons: New Orleans, San Diego, Indy and now the Eagles.
“For me it’s a matter of staying healthy," Robinson admitted Friday at the NovaCare Complex.
A versatile player Robinson has experience playing inside and outside so he should get every opportunity to earn playing time in Jim Schwartz's defense, which is looking for viable options at the position.
Currently, the depth chart features Brooks, second-year players Jalen Mills and C.J. Smith, as well as former Jacksonville third-round pick Dwayne Gratz and ex-CFL standouts Aaron Grymes and Mitchell White. The Eagles also figure to add multiple bodies at the position in the draft.
If the season started today, Robinson would project to be a starter outside with Mills.
“I have to be dependable," Robinson said. "As a coach you want a guy who’s going to be the same player week in and week out, not a great player than a mediocre player. You want a player who will be the same week in and week out.”
Robinson is also here to help mentor the younger players and teach them how to go about being a professional.
"Yeah," Robinson answered when asked if the Eagles broached that part of the job description to him. "But that’s nothing new for me. Whenever I’m around the young guys, I try to lead by example. Try to give them tips from what I experienced and what I know in the game. So that’s nothing new."
Robinson is friends with safety Malcolm Jenkins from the time the two spent together in New Orleans and the corner claimed the Pro Bowl safety is one of the major reasons he came to South Philadelphia.
"I talked with Malcolm Jenkins, you know, who I’m close to," Robinson said. "I know what type of player he is and what type of locker room he’s trying to build. I think, as far as the other teams, with me knowing him, that kind of made the decision for me."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen