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Last season, tight end Adrien Robinson, the Giants' fourth-round draft pick who was instantly dubbed "the JPP of tight ends" by general manager Jerry Reese had anything but a Jason Pierre-Paul-like rookie season, playing in only two games and not posting a reception.
That's because Robinson, who missed the spring OTAs because his college classes as the university of Cincinnati were still ongoing, fell so far behind that at best all the coaches could do was to work with him on technique and to help him better understand his responsibilities in the team's rather complex offensive system.
"With being a rookie last year, coming in I didn’t really know much about releases and blitzes and reading coverages and overall being a professional," Robinson said. "(Former Giants tight end) Martellus (Bennett) helped me out a lot with that and so did Bear (Pascoe) and Brandon Meyers. I’m trying to learn from everybody."
So far, so good.
Not only is Robinson much more comfortable in the Giants' system, thanks to his being able to spend an entire offseason learning the background of the playbook, he's actually been turning a few heads in the process.
"We want to get Adrien on the field," said Giants' tight ends coach Mike Pope. "He’s a terrific target and runs well."
During the preseason, the Giants used the 6'4", 264-pound tight end down in their goal line and short yardage packages, but it's in the slot where Robinson's size and athletic abilities can make for a nice change of pace whenever the Giants want a better matchup.
Then there has been his blocking, which has come a long way.
"I think that’s definitely the most important thing. Having the right technique, stepping with the right foot and stuff like that," Robinson said. "Plus, I’m a bigger guy so learning how to use size to my advantage helped me out."
It's too soon to say what Robinson's actual receiving numbers might be—he said the most catches he's had was 12 in his senior year of college, and, before that, 20 in high school—but it's not too soon to say that he potentially has the tools to follow in the footsteps of Bennett, whose tremendous size and athleticism made him an asset as both a blocker and as a receiver.