LA Rams defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson is set to go for the Sunday Night Football season opener against the Chicago Bears. To some, this is not worth thinking about, let alone reading an article about it. But it should be on everyone’s radar. The Rams will need a very good season out of A’Shawn Robinson, and the team could see the first game with better than expected results in just 45 hours.
A’Shawn Robinson was signed in 2020 to the LA Rams with a specific purpose in mind. He was brought in to assume a run-stopper role that many expected to be vacated a year ago by the outbound veteran defensive lineman. Brockers returned to the Rams, albeit for 2020 only, Robinson was delayed joining the team on the football field by a medical condition, and that plan never happened. But it is now all lining up for 2021.
In the meantime, Robinson altered his diet, is much leaner and more explosive on the defensive front, and has been getting praises from head coach Sean McVay and from teammate Aaron Donald. The Rams are counting on him to deliver quality snaps on the defensive front. Not only will he be counted on to stuff the run, but the team is hoping to get some pass rush potential out of him as well. In his new lean-mean-fighting-machine look, he could deliver on that as well.
Much like his former teammate quarterback Matthew Stafford, defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson faced then-rival Chicago Bears twice a year for four NFL seasons. In four seasons with the Detroit Lions, he had 12 tackles and three tackles for a loss. While that may not seem like huge numbers, Robinson’s role with the Detroit Lions defense was to gobble blockers to allow the linebacker to make plays.
Now with the Rams defensive front, you can expect Robinson to be a bit more productive. He’s had the chance to fully participate with the team during OTAs and training camp, something he was unable to do in 2020. And with the understanding that he will start on the defensive line with Aaron Donald and Sebastian Joseph Day, he’s had plenty of time to coordinate pass rush, stunts, and techniques.
Look for Robinson to rotate out, playing about 25-35 defensive snaps for around 30-50 percent of the action. While he may be limited in the number of plays he is on the field, he still could be significant to the outcome. A strong showing on the line of scrimmage, penetrating to get a tackle or two on the running back behind the line of scrimmage, and a bit of quarterback pressure would all add up to a very successful debut.
The Rams cannot depend on Aaron Donald alone to set the tempo for the defense this season. A’Shawn Robinson is good to go, so he will need to help set that tempo as well.