Rams offensive lineman Greg Robinson staying positive while competing for a starting job
Rams lineman Greg Robinson at a recent team workout at California Lutheran University. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
He was the No. 2 pick in the NFL 2014 draft but has struggled with penalties and protection issues playing left tackle.
The Rams this offseason signed a three-time Pro Bowl player to take his spot, moved him to the right side and then declined to exercise their fifth-year option, a move that would have ensured him a roster spot — and a salary of more than $12 million — in 2018.
Through it all, Greg Robinson said this week that he remained positive.
“Whatever opportunities I have, I’m looking forward to my future,” he said after an organized team activity workout. “Hopefully, it’s with the Rams.
“I don’t really how that’s going to go, but whatever opportunities come my way, I’ve just got to take advantage of it.”
Robinson, 24, appears to be facing another challenge.
New coach Sean McVay and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer shifted Rob Havenstein from right tackle to right guard, providing the 6-foot-5, 332-pound Robinson an opportunity at right tackle.
Robinson, scheduled to earn about $6.7 million in salary and bonuses this season, opened OTA workouts last week working with the first-team offense.
But on Tuesday, Jamon Brown took most of the first-team reps.
“I made a few mistakes that put me down,” Robinson said. “But I just look at it as a little fire up under me. I try my best to come out every day and redeem myself.”
Robinson, McVay said, “has shown some good signs” and acknowledged there was an “adjustment period” when moving from the left to the right side of the line.
But he also praised the 6-4, 330-pound Brown, who played guard his first two seasons with the Rams after he was selected in the third round of the 2015 draft.
Brown played tackle in college at Louisville.
“You can see his athleticism and his strength,” McVay said. “That’s a position where we feel like we’ve got some good options at that spot, and we’ll continue to evaluate that moving forward.”
Brown said his background playing the position in college eased the transition from the interior of the line to the edge.
“The majority of the stuff comes back pretty natural,” he said, adding, “Kind of easy to knock the rust off and just get back to doing what I did.”
Robinson and Brown are competing to start opposite 6-7, 330-pound Andrew Whitworth. The 11-year veteran signed a three-year, $33.7-million contract to stabilize the line and serve as quarterback Jared Goff’s blindside protector.
Whitworth said he was encouraging all linemen, including Robinson.
“Just continuing to try and be a positive reinforcement in his ear, of developing and focusing and trying to get the best out of himself,” Whitworth said. “And really just more telling him, ‘Whatever I can do to help you.’ Any way, whatever that is.
“If it’s sitting out around afterwards and talking about the schemes. If it’s physically going through stuff. I mean, whatever it is I can do to help him and just being there for him, that’s it.”
Robinson will continue working at the transition to right tackle through the remaining five OTA workouts and during a minicamp in mid-June.
“In all honesty,” he said of the move, “I think it’s going to be pretty good.”
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