Jags narrow role for 'offensive weapon' Robinson

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm •  Published: August 1, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have narrowed Denard Robinson's playlist.

The Jaguars originally put the former Michigan star in just about every offensive formation and special teams unit they had during offseason workouts. He lined up at running back, receiver and quarterback, and also returned punts and kickoffs.

However, there was one recurring theme: ball security. Robinson, who's listed as an "offensive weapon" on the depth chart, struggled to hold onto the football, dropping passes, fumbling snaps and botching punts.

So the Jaguars decided to back off during training camp, taking him off punt returns and limiting his offensive role to mostly runs and wildcat formations.

"We did take less off of him," coach Gus Bradley said. "We've got him more towards kickoff returns, some of the things he's doing offensively. We're taking some things off of his plate to see if that just frees up his mind a little bit more."

Robinson is still plenty involved. He ran at least five wildcat plays during 11-on-11 drills Wednesday and carried a few times Thursday.

"I've just got to work on it," Robinson said. "I'm not going to run away from no problem."

Jacksonville selected Robinson in the fifth round, the 135th overall pick, in April's draft. The decision came after new general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley evaluated the team and determined team speed was lacking all over the field. So they chose South Carolina receiver Ace Sanders, the Southeastern Conference's top return man last season, in the fourth round and added Robinson 34 picks later.

Both became instant fan favorites.

On a team with several plodders, their speed, elusiveness and big-play ability have stood out.

But outsiders are quick to forget they are middle-round picks, long shots to make impacts right away. The Jaguars might not have done Robinson any favors, either, by listing him as an "OW" on the roster.

Sure, an "offensive weapon" is what Robinson dubbed himself on draft day. But the team perpetuated it, possibly setting the rookie up for failure.

After all, the Jaguars have flopped repeatedly in recent years while trying to reposition players coming out of college.

Few will forget former Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones, who switched to receiver before the 2005 draft. The Jaguars drafted the 6-foot-6 project with the 21st overall pick and vowed to make him a go-to guy.

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