JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Cam Robinson’s NFL debut ought to present the last word problem. It’d even appear unfair.
The Jacksonville Jaguars rookie will make his first profession begin Sunday in Houston towards arguably the league’s premier trio of move-rushers. Robinson undoubtedly could have his palms full making an attempt to dam in 4-time All-Professional J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.
However the former Alabama standout welcomes the season- and profession-opening test.
“It’s such an enormous deal to everyone else, however it’s simply soccer,” Robinson stated Wednesday. “It doesn’t actually matter to me who’s lined up throughout. On the finish of the day, I’ve nonetheless acquired to go do my job. I’ve been listening to the previous two weeks or no matter the identical stuff day-after-day, however that’s only for you guys to explode and for me to only play soccer.”
The Jaguars have dropped six consecutive within the collection and have been principally overmatched towards Watt. The three-time defensive participant of the yr has 14 sacks and 9 move breakups in 10 video games towards Jacksonville, together with three outings during which he notched three sacks.
Mercilus has been almost as disruptive, recording 7 sacks in 9 video games towards the Jags.
“I don’t actually have an excessive amount of awe in me,” stated Robinson, a second-spherical draft decide (No. 34 general). “I’m simply enjoying soccer, man. It’s the one factor I’ve obtained to exit right here and do Sunday. These guys are nice gamers, clearly.
“However the plan is to go on the market and get what we’re making an attempt to get accomplished.”
Jacksonville didn’t plan to place Robinson on this state of affairs .
Determination-maker Tom Coughlin traded for veteran left deal with Brandon Albert in March. However Albert skipped a lot of the group’s offseason conditioning program in hopes of getting a brand new contract, confirmed up for coaching camp out of practice after which determined to retire after three grueling practices in sweltering warmth and humidity.
Miscalculating on Albert opened the door for Robinson, who began all forty three video games in three years with the Tide and was the Outland Trophy winner in 2016.
He was shaky early within the preseason, however obtained steadier the extra he performed.
“It’s thrilling for him to get to go up towards Clowney or Watt or Mercilus or whoever they throw over there at him,” quarterback Blake Bortles stated. “As a rookie within the NFL, I don’t assume you can ask for a greater problem. I do know he’s excited, and I’m wanting ahead to seeing what he can do.”
Added Robinson: “I feel I’ve made some strides, obtained higher at numerous stuff.”
Even with Robinson’s enhancements, Jacksonville’s line is the staff’s largest query mark heading into the opener — and never simply due to the daunting matchup.
Brandon Linder hasn’t appeared deserving of being the NFL’s highest-paid middle. Proper deal with Jermey Parnell has been mediocre at greatest. And the guards have been so inconsistent that coach Doug Marrone made them play within the preseason finale whereas each different starter watched from the sideline.
Now, simply days earlier than the season, the Jaguars stay unsettled at left guard.
“Nonetheless working via it. We’re nonetheless shifting individuals by means of there,” Marrone stated. “Houston’s not frightened about who our left guard is. We’re looking for out who the perfect left guard is for ourselves, who’s going to carry out at one of the best degree. I’m not making an attempt to cover one thing.”
Robinson probably gained’t have the ability to disguise Sunday. He’ll certainly get assist from tight ends and operating backs, however sooner or later he has to carry his personal towards Watt, Clowney and Mercilus for the Jaguars to have an opportunity.
“You’re going to should do it,” Marrone stated. “That’s why we drafted him. He has are available right here and labored onerous. He has a troublesome test. … Not a whole lot of groups have been very profitable towards this protection. That’s why they’re No. 1. They’ve excellent gamers, and I haven’t seen a protection like this in a very long time on this league that has such excellent gamers.”
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