Robinson is Eagles’ Most Important Band-Aid
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Howie Roseman has had a bit of a love-hate thing going with the term Band-Aid since regaining control of the Eagles' football operations.
At times the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations decries that kind of strategy and then seemingly embraces it. What it's really about is a failure to communicate properly and consistently.
Every team in the NFL employs Band-Aids from 1-15 Cleveland all the way up to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and Philadelphia is obviously no different.
What Roseman needs to get straight is explaining short-term fixes are a necessary part of the game even if you'd prefer a cornerstone at every position.
Perhaps, the Eagles' most important Band-Aid of 2017 is cornerback Patrick Robinson, the former first-round pick who has had a star-crossed career as he's struggled to stay on the field due to injuries.
Now he's in Philadelphia on a one-year, prove-it deal and with 2016 starters Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll long gone, It's Robinson who is Jim Schwartz's most experienced cornerback.
Robinson has started 49 career games in three NFL stops on both the inside and outside, as opposed to the combined two starts his fellow first-teamers, second-year player Jalen Mills and rookie Rasul Douglas (in the nickel) bring to the table.
"He's a guy that brings some experience in there," Schwartz said. "He's really quick, he's really fast. He's been around the NFL. So those are all good attributes to have."
At first glance, however, Robinson hardly seems like a Schwartz kind of guy. The Florida State product is understated, so much so that when he signed he asked the Eagles media relations department to eschew a traditional podium press conference because he's not comfortable in that environment.
Last Year Schwartz seemed to sour on Eric Rowe before Philadelphia traded him to New England, in large part because he did not show the kind of swagger that players like McKelvin, Mils and Ron Brooks have.
That was really about confidence, however, in that Rowe, a second-year player at the time, showed little in himself even though his physical gifts were far greater than most of the competition.
Robinson, on the other hand, is quiet but believes in himself. He's not only ready to play, he's ready to lead.
"We haven't had that discussion," Robinson told 973espn.com when asked if Schwartz has discussed him mentoring the younger players, "but I know what I'm here for. Me being a vet and having a lot of young guys under me, I think I'm doing a good job with these young guys telling them what I see and what I think they are capable of. There are things that I know that I try to tell (the young guys). It's things that I've experienced over the years. So, I try to help, try to coach them up."
Mills, a seventh-round pick in 2016 who has been working on the outside with the first-team defense opposite Robinson and then moving inside when the nickel defense is on the field, is already raving about Robinson's presence.
"He's a savvy guy," Mills said. "He knows a lot of tricks (of the trade)."
It remains to be seen how many of tricks help the defense because cornerback is regarded as the weakest unit on the team, unless of course, this Band-Aid holds up.
"Last year was a bit of a lost season for him with injuries," Schwartz admitted. "He looks like he's back healthy now."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen