By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
Each morning before the Jaguars officially begin training camp, Denard Robinson has been on the practice field. Each morning he is taking reps and passes from Mike Kafka, hauling in passees, taking handoffs, and learning. Yes, he has dropped a few short dump-offs from about 10 yards out in front of the line, but it is the steady repetition that is going to make this guy great once he puts it all together.
And the fact the Jaguars are working with him day after day as the hot Florida sun beats on his back tells you this is a kid who wants to be the best.
Even in the early morning, the crowd sees it as well, all decked out in their maize and blue t-shirts and jerseys, all yelling his name, all in support of their hero.
Athletes become star athletes when they take the time to get things right. Holding onto the football. Learning the right pass route. Pulling the ball into your body on a handoff. Making sure the arms are secure around the pigskin before you move downfield. Robinson played quarterback in college. This is a new experience for him, like teaching a baby to walk or talk. Like teaching a running back, which is now his listed position, to change arms in full motion and head up field or direction to avoid a tackle.
Robinson is making the transition.
Emmitt Smith once told me years ago that he wanted to be the best and worked hard to be the best by sticking to basics. Everything else came naturally for him. Everything comes naturally for Robinson, who is as gifted a talent as the Jaguars have had in some time. With Ace Sanders and Tobias Palmer, this franchise just got a lot quicker in a few short weeks. But if players like Robinson cannot hold onto the ball, then speed means nothing because the offense isn’t moving forward.
So Robinson continues to work on his fundamentals, remains focused and hopes the learning curve will be re-evaluated. Like all other great football players, Robinson wants to learn to crawl first, but you can be sure once he starts run, not many will be able to stop him.
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