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NOTEBOOK: Former Lion likes Greg Robinson in Detroit's scheme

Shortly after the Detroit Lions traded for left tackle and former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson, eight-year NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, who knows Detroit's scheme from signing here last offseason and being with the team through training camp, tweeted this:

"What the Lions teach upfront and their philosophy is a great fit for Robinson. Jump sets, ball out quick. They could use his run blocking."

Schwartz expanded on Robinson and his potential fit in Detroit's scheme in a phone interview with

"Coach Prince has a very specific set of skills he wants the offensive linemen to have and I think Greg fits that," Schwartz said. "He's got a big base, he's strong and Greg has gotten in trouble in the past when he's taken these really deep pass sets, really deep and vertical, and that's not really his best thing.

"He's at his best when he's using his frame to get on guys quickly and that's what coach Prince teaches you. He teaches guys to jump set ... if you look at what the offensive line has done this year and last year. They've brought in guys like T.J. Lang and that's what Lang has done his whole career."

Schwartz thinks Robinson can use his quickness and strength to overwhelm defenders at the line of scrimmage in the pass game.

"It's a shock for tackles to be taught that because you're taught nearly everywhere else to set back and set vertical and set deep," Schwartz said. "It's new for tackles and it's just going to take some time for him to have the confidence to do it properly and do it as much as coach wants you to do it."

Robinson has been back at practice a few days after starting training camp on PUP. He's split first-team reps with Cyrus Kouandjio in team drills the last couple days. Robinson says those reps are vital as he tries to learn Detroit's playbook and pick up those new jump-set techniques.

"It's going to take a little adjusting," Robinson said after Wednesday's practice. "I've been trying to take the coaching from Prince and just do it the way he wants us to do it and incorporate my own things into the game also that helped me that separates me.

"A few of the zone steps are a lot different and just getting that out of my technique and muscle memory, just erasing that, has been a challenge these past two days, but I think slowly it'll come along."

Robinson thinks that in a week or two he'll have it down pretty well.

Head coach Jim Caldwell thinks it might not take that long.

"He's a really good athlete," Caldwell said. "I would not suspect it would take him long to be able to get the techniques and fundamentals down.

"The guy is a really fine athlete. He's one of the better athletes you'll find at that position. There's probably not a whole lot from an athletic standpoint that he can't do. I think he can adapt and adapt very well."

Robinson started 42 of a possible 48 games for the Rams the last three seasons, and played primarily left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded Robinson the 72nd best tackle in football last year out of 76 qualifying players. He was penalized 14 times, the second most among all tackles, and allowed eight sacks and 27 quarterback hurries.

But if Schwartz is right, maybe a new scheme and a change of scenery will do Robinson some good if he's asked to replace injured left tackle Taylor Decker for any extended period of time.

"Once I get it down pat and I can really see the benefits from (the different techniques being taught in Detroit) then eventually I'll be able to commend (Prince) on that," Robinson said. "Right now, it's going to take a lot of adjustment."


Kerry Hyder Jr. got to where he is today by proving people wrong.

He was undrafted out of Texas Tech, and was on the practice squads of the Jets and Lions his first two seasons in the NFL.

He literally forced his way onto Detroit's roster out of training camp last year because of the camp and preseason he had. He carved out a reserve role and went on to lead the Lions with eight sacks.

Now entering the 2017 season as a starter, Hyder says his mindset hasn't changed one bit from when he was still trying to prove that he belonged in the NFL.

"I'm not used to this," Hyder said of entering camp as the starter. "So, I'm not changing my routine or changing anything because this is not normal for me, and I'm not used to it, so all I know is what I've been doing."

What he's been doing is working his tail off and playing with a chip on his shoulder.

"You can't take anything for granted in this league, man," Hyder said. "One day you're here and the next day you're gone. I've seen it too many times. I can't rest on what I did last year. That's gone."

Hyder has come into camp in terrific shape, and is still approaching every day like he's a practice squad player trying to make the roster. That should suit him well.


Dropped passes were an issue for the Lions last season.

The Lions dropped 28 passes in the regular season last year, according to STATS, INC., which were the third most behind only the Jets (30) and Raiders (29).

That doesn't include the four drops – two by Eric Ebron and one each by Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. – in Detroit's playoff loss in Seattle.

Caldwell said after practice Tuesday that some of his receivers are using strobe eyewear technology to help with focus and hopefully limit the drops.

"Some of our guys are using those (glasses) that cut off your vision for a moment and when you reignite it, you can see and make you really concentrate a little bit harder," Caldwell said. "We're doing a lot of different things that way. (Wide receivers coach) Robert Prince and some of those guys that are doing a great job with our guys, getting them ready. We're going to make certain we don't let some of those opportunities slip by us like we did last year."


Players still on PUP: DE Ziggy Ansah, DE Armonty Bryant, T Taylor Decker, T Corey Robinson and DE Jeremiah Valoaga

Players still on NFI: P Sam Martin

Not practicing were: Tight end Eric Ebron, receiver Ryan Spadola and defensive end Cornelius Washington.

Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston returned to practice after missing the beginning of camp for personal reasons. Also back were guard T.J. Lang, linebacker Nick Bellore and safety Tavon Wilson (red no-contact jersey) after sitting out Tuesday.

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