Skip to main content

Lions looking for Robinson to improve his pass rush

Right after this year's NFL Draft, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn was asked about his comfort level with the team's pass rushing situation, since he didn't address that portion of the roster until very late in the draft.

"I feel good," Quinn said at the time. "Ziggy Ansah, Kerry Hyder, Cornelius Washington. Guys on the inside, A'Shawn (Robinson), Armonty Bryant, (Anthony) Zettel. I feel good."

Of all those names, only Robinson plays primarily on the inside at defensive tackle. His inclusion in Quinn's list makes it seem like Quinn could have high hopes that the second-year tackle out of Alabama will be a much greater force as a pass rusher in year two of his NFL career.

Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin thinks he can be, too.

"We think we've got to just continue to try to accelerate him in the pass game and work on his pass rush so that he can be a three-down player for us and give us some inside pass rush," Austin said of Robinson earlier this week.

Robinson played in just 41 percent of the team's defensive snaps last year, but that number did increase significantly toward the end of the season after he became a starter. The last three games of the year against Dallas, Green Bay and Seattle (playoffs), Robinson averaged 59 percent of the defensive snaps.

He finished his rookie campaign with just two sacks and five quarterback hurries, but it appears expectations are higher for him as a pass rusher in 2017 based off Quinn's and Austin's comments.

Robinson has displayed a pass-rushing prowess in the past. He led Alabama in sacks with 5.5 as a true freshman. He showed some versatility by playing both inside and outside as a sophomore. As a junior in 2015, he recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

At age 22, Robinson is still learning the nuances and techniques of being a good pass rusher from the interior. He's strong as an ox, and is already a very good run defender. If he continues to come along as a pass rusher, he'll become the three-down player Austin thinks he can be.

"He looks really good right now," Austin said. "I think he's really doing some good things. He is another big, strong, powerful man who's got good bend.

"So, he does a lot of things inside in the run game. He's going to be really good."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content