Rams decide against late-season position switch for Robinson
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Greg Robinson is a dilemma that will have to be resolved by the Los Angeles Rams' next coaching staff.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft likely won't be benched for the third time this year in the Rams' season finale, interim coach John Fassel said Tuesday. Robinson also won't play a new position after spending the past 2 1/2 seasons at left tackle, where he has been among the NFL's most-penalized players.
Instead, Robinson will protect quarterback Jared Goff's blind side again whenever he gets on the field for the Rams (4-11) in their season finale against the Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1). How much Robinson plays still hasn't been decided by Fassel and his coaches.
''I think the best thing for him is to give him one spot and let him really just focus on that,'' Fassel said. ''I would imagine that there will be one position picked for him, and (he can) master this position.''
The Rams internally have discussed moving Robinson to guard in an attempt to get more value from their enormous investment in him. While Robinson has undeniable athleticism and talent, his penalties and inconsistent play have been one factor in the 32nd-ranked Los Angeles offense's overall ineptitude this season, including 19 sacks of Goff during the No. 1 pick's six straight losses as a starter.
Only four NFL players have committed more than Robinson's 11 penalties this season.
For his part, Robinson has remained positive through his one-game benchings from each of the Rams' head coaches this season. The Louisiana native was scratched for the Rams' trip to New Orleans last month, and he was benched again last week against San Francisco.
The decision to bench him again ''caught me off-guard,'' Robinson acknowledged Tuesday.
''I don't really know what to expect week in and week out,'' Robinson added. ''So it was a decision they made as a staff, and I just took it on the chest and tried my best to be positive about it.''
Robinson's contract keeps him with the Rams through 2018. While he hasn't yet grown into the dominant blocker and cornerstone left tackle many expected, his sheer potential likely makes the Rams interested in keeping him around in some role.
That role eventually could be at guard. Robinson could make a transition similar to the move made by Robert Gallery, another prodigiously gifted No. 2 pick who never thrived as a left tackle with the Oakland Raiders, but went on to a solid career as an interior lineman.
Robinson started three games at guard in 2014 before moving to left tackle midway through his rookie season. He had been there for every game until the Rams decided to bench him last month.
''I haven't talked to them about it,'' Robinson said of a possible position switch. ''If that opportunity ever presents itself to me and I feel it's best for me, that would be the time to talk about it. But right now, that's like in the wind. I don't really know anything about that.''
Robinson's long-term future will be decided by the coach following Fisher and Fassel, who decided not to put extra pressure on the high-priced lineman by switching his position for one game in a lost season.
The Rams worked out with Robinson at left tackle and Rodger Saffold at right tackle on Tuesday, but also used a line featuring Saffold at left tackle and Pace Murphy at right tackle. Fassel hasn't decided what he'll do at the Coliseum on Sunday.
''They'll be ready,'' Fassel said. ''Greg, benched last week, I talked to him about being ready to go this week. He took to it and I would imagine that he would perform at the highest of his ability.''
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