Jaguars WR Robinson ups practice routine, hopes stats follow
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson knows the numbers. They're not what he expects, not what the team needs and not what the fans want.
He's also trying to do something about it.
In hopes of turning around his sub-par season, Robinson is getting a ball on every passing play in practice. Robinson decided to add the workout wrinkle this week. So third-string quarterback Brandon Allen is throwing Robinson's way on every play in which he's not the primary target.
Coaches and teammates have taken notice, saying it's a sign of just how serious Robinson is about finding a fix.
''It's just the kind of competitor he is,'' quarterback Blake Bortles said Tuesday. ''He goes and has two drops or whatever. When you struggle with something or something doesn't go your way, you can either ignore it and hope it doesn't happen again or you can go do something about and go try and make yourself better. And that's what he does.''
The Jaguars (2-4) will see if it helps Thursday night at Tennessee (3-4).
A Pro Bowl receiver who caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, Robinson has been among Jacksonville's biggest disappointments.
The third-year pro has 26 receptions for 296 yards and three scores, and he's dropped passes - including one in the end zone - in three consecutive games. He had as many drops as catches (2) in a 33-16 loss to Oakland on Sunday.
He's averaging 11.4 yards a catch, lower than teammates Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis. That's a significant drop-off from 2015, in which Robinson averaged 17.5 yards a catch and led the NFL with 31 receptions of 20 yards or more.
''It's frustrating,'' Robinson said. ''At the end of the day, it's something that I'm not accustomed to as far as drops and struggling to make plays for my team. I'm just trying to find a way to get it corrected.
''I'm not the first player or receiver to go through adversity and I'm not going to be the last. At the end of the day, I've got to find a way to get it corrected and go out there and help my teammates. I've got a lot of guys depending on me to go out there and do my job, so that's what I've got to do.''
Robinson acknowledged trying to do too much at times, pressing to make plays and creating undo stress.
It hasn't helped that defenses are essentially double covering him on every play. Opponents are trying to take away the deep, jump balls to Robinson as well as the back-shoulder throws. And they've been successful, making some wonder whether Robinson is really an elite receiver.
Critics point to some of the top receivers in the league, guys like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Odell Beckham Jr., being able to beat double teams routinely. And they point to Robinson not having the speed to create much separation.
So for him to be successful, the Jaguars have to be able to run the ball and draw safeties closer to the line of scrimmage. It also would help if Bortles was ultra-accurate with the football , which he's not.
''A-Rob is extremely competitive,'' coach Gus Bradley said. ''I think, for him, his ability to be a receiver, his ability to catch the ball is outstanding. We see it in practice every day. I think he just has to play, calm things down and execute like he's capable. There's going to be a few drops here and there and just realize that's not who he is and make the plays that he's capable of making.''
He's making them in practice - on every passing play, too.
''It's just helping me get a better rhythm,'' Robinson said. ''It's tough to say how the game's going to go, but it obvious that as an offense we haven't found that rhythm. That's been tough.''
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