LA Rams: Camp showdown I – A’Shawn Robinson vs Bobby Brown III

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams News A'Shawn Robinson
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

A’Shawn Robinson gets a make-over

Robinson arrived at the LA Rams last season but was unable to suit up quickly due to a non-football-related health issue. He eventually did make the field, but missing so much of the early season limited his play in the team’s defensive line rotation. The result was a disappointing 111 defensive snaps and just 12 tackles, both career lows. That was disappointing for the LA Rams. It was disheartening for Robinson.

NFL players take setbacks in stride. NFL warriors take setbacks personally and react by confronting all of the issues with renewed vengeance and vigor. A’Shawn Robinson is proving to be an NFL warrior already. He is slimming down to a lean 300-305 pounds playing weight for 2021.  At that size, he will be more agile, show more endurance, and will be able to slide out to the defensive end role, while still holding his ground should he be needed to rotate in at nose tackle.

Versatility is the name of the game in this LA Rams defensive front.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

With Aaron Donald calling where he lines up, his teammates need to be flexible enough to move to the other position, and Robinson has already bought in.  But isn’t this a bit like too little too late? Hasn’t Robinson squandered his chance with the LA Rams defense? Oh, yee of little faith. Robinson took the field for 36 defensive snaps in the NFL Playoffs for the Rams, and he was one of the most effective defensive linemen of the bunch. He was responsible for six tackles and a forced fumble. While he struggled in the regular season to earn only a 45.6 grade from Pro Football Focus, he was far better in the playoffs. He put up a 76.5 grade for the Rams after dominating in two games.

Now, the Rams hope to harness that post-season performance through the entire 2021 NFL season. At 6-foot-4 and 300-pounds, Robinson could be one of the premier teammates of All-Pro Aaron Donald and could divert some of the offensive opposition’s attention if he comes out of the blocks with a couple of dominating performances. Unlike 2020 when he was unable to join his teammates in any training camp work, he is getting the full dose of offseason preparations with the LA Rams defense this year.

A’Shawn Robinson is not here for the paycheck. He is here to win, to perform to the best of his ability, and to earn the respect and trust of his teammates. This is not about stats. This is about the man stepping up in ways that most of us cannot even imagine. He is working with the best, playing alongside the best, and is giving the 2021 NFL season his best. Breakout season? I think that he will be one of the LA Rams defensive stars in 2021. Whenever an NFL veteran talks about not letting his teammates down, you can star that guy for a great year. A’Shawn Robinson is that guy this year.