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Will Robinson Quickly Gets Demoted

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 3:43 pm

First-round pick Trent Williams signed today, and was immediately put on the field in the starting left tackle spot. The fans rejoiced, the beat writers exhaled, and Williams got to take the podium and give the press conference describing where he was when he found out. (Sleepless in Northern Virginia, if you’re curious, which is much less exciting that Brian Orakpo’s “eating sushi with my fiance” from last year.) Everyone was thrilled.

Except, maybe, for offensive tackle Will Robinson, who entered training camp yesterday as the team’s starting left tackle. (That’s him protecting Donovan McNabb‘s blindside above.)

This was quite the leap for Robinson, an undrafted free agent who joined the Redskins in October of last year and saw limited action after the entire offensive line was decimated by injury. But his fall was as swift as his rise, and today he summarily lost his spot to the newly-signed rookie.

I caught up with Robinson after practice today and asked him the obvious question: what did the coaches see in just one practice that they demoted him so quickly, and for such an unproven talent?
Robinson, an amiable funny guy, laughed at the question. “I don’t think of it as a demotion,” he said. “I think of it that yesterday I was just filling the role they need me to play. As of now, Trent’s the starter, but I’m out there fighting to start too and I’m gonna make him earn it. Regardless of where I play, as long as I’m on the team that’s what matters to me.”

Even though the move is far from unexpected, it can’t help but be a disappointment. “No one wants to sit on the bench, y’know,” Robinson said. “But you do your role. I’m gonna go out there, I’m gonna keep fighting and keep scrapping. This is what happens when you’re an undrafted guy and they draft a first-rounder. But you have to keep working, because you know you’re only one play away.”

And, after all, just being second string at the most important O-line spot is something of an accomplishment for a guy like Robinson. “It’s definitely a vote of confidence,” he said. “I’ve been working real hard since college; I’m not really the biggest guy, but I try to play big. I’m just out here working, and that’s all you can do.”

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