A’Shawn Robinson was built for Coach Henny’s #Dawgwork

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Whether or not you are excited to have veteran defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson lining up on the LA Rams defensive front really doesn’t matter to the guy. That is not to throw shade at anyone, nor is it intended to put up some ethereal wall between the fans and the player. The truth of it all is that A’Shawn Robinson was berated and unappreciated to the breaking point in his four seasons with the Detroit Lions.

And when he arrived at the LA Rams roster in 2020, it showed.

I’m not quite certain why some people think that insults, verbal harassment, and constant negative feedback are viable methods of motivating someone, but let’s be clear. It’s not. It doesn’t motivate children who are constantly ridiculed by parents, intentionally or unintentionally. It doesn’t build intimacy between two persons in a romantic relationship, whether unintentional, teasing, or intentional. And it certainly doesn’t motivate employees to do a better job, despite the overwhelming popularity by shop managers and bosses in the workplace.

Negatively charged HC gets negative results

But that was the motivational technique used by Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia on A’Shawn Robinson during the 2018 and 2019 NFL seasons. Those techniques have the reverse effect on players. Instead of forging a team, it simply fires up discontent and ire.

And perhaps even more telling

Since that experience with the Lions, Robinson himself has not had an easy time with things. He arrived at the LA Rams just when COVID-19 did.  His stat sheet at Pro Football Reference still lists him at 6-foot-4 and 330-pounds. Robinson was a big and powerful man, but the mental struggles of negative feedback from his head coach had taken their toll.

Must Read. LA Rams: 15 greatest linebackers of All Time. light

Robinson discovered even further football complications when he was diagnosed with a non-football-related medical condition that required months to get under control. By the time he was back on the football field, he had fallen in the depth chart rotation to a minimal role. But he didn’t give up, he didn’t surrender. And when the LA Rams competed in the 2020 NFL Playoffs, Robinson parlayed 36 defensive snaps into six tackles and one forced fumble. He was not there just yet, but he flashed where he could be with the right motivation.