For the first time all preseason, all five starting offensive linemen were healthy and ready to play aside one another. It was something that many fans were looking forward to. However, instead of playing the so-called starting five together for the first time this preseason, the Rams made a controversial decision by benching their number two overall pick Greg Robinson in favor of newly signed guard Davin Joseph.
According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post dispatch the Rams didn’t want to start Robinson as switching from guard to tackle numerous times this preseason has been a lot for the rookie. The plan from here on out is to have Robinson focus strictly on left guard.
Robinson still played in Saturday’s contest, he just didn’t start, and it doesn’t mean that he won’t start come week one against the Minnesota Vikings. The load the Rams have been giving him have obviously just been too much for the rookie who said he was struggling to grasp the playbook earlier this offseason.
"“It’s frustrating that I’m not up to pace right now because the playbook is more intense and things are changing, but once I get back to where I’m comfortable, things will calm down and I can be myself out there.”"
Robinson has played much better at guard than he has at tackle according to Pro Football Focus as in the first two game he received a -5.1 grade at tackle and -0.9 grade at guard. Robinson certainly has had his bumps, but that’s what you expect from any rookie let alone a rookie offensive lineman.
Even though this is just preseason and the Rams are supposedly trying to help the rookie by not starting him, this has to be at the very least a small cause of concern. The Rams drafted Robinson at number two overall, and normally when you draft a player that high you expect them to start every game.
With the fear of another Jason Smith in the rear view mirror of Rams fans, it’s hard not to be a little concerned that Robinson didn’t get the start. You have to wonder if Jeff Fisher just simply doesn’t have confidence in the rookie and that if Robinson struggles, Fisher could very well bench him.
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This was a very controversial and questionable decision by Fisher, and hopefully it will all work out in the long run. With Jake Long coming off his ACL injury, Rodger Saffold being somewhat injury prone, and the Rams lack of depth on the offensive line, specifically tackle, this decision definitely raises concern and makes you wonder of Fisher doesn’t have confidence in the player that he took number two overall.