Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
The health of Keenan Robinson has become a hot topic since the new regime has decided to give him a prominent role this season. The brittle fourth-round pick from 2012 is being groomed to assume the role of defensive signal-caller, according to Liz Clarke of The Washington Post:
Four days into training camp, Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson is still practicing full out. And that represents a major step forward for the 6-foot-3, 238-pound former Texas standout who’s expected to inherit the signal-calling duties handled so ably these last seven years by London Fletcher, who retired last season.
Considering that it's a role previously held by the distinguished Fletcher, Robinson's stock is definitely up. That he's been trusted to essentially quarterback the defense is a measure of the trust the coaches have in his ability.
So far, though, that ability can only be measured in potential. Consecutive chest injuries mean Robinson has only appeared in 11 games in two seasons. He has yet to make a start since being drafted.
But a positive offseason, along with range that few other members of the inside linebacker rotation can match, has put Robinson in the frame as a key starter. His flexibility turned heads during OTAs, according to Brian McNally of The Washington Times:
There is still some caution when discussing what Robinson can bring — the size at 6-foot-3, 238 pounds, and the speed to stay with the NFL’s new breed of big, fast, physical tight ends who can run and catch and make life miserable for linebackers in coverage. But that potential all goes to waste if Robinson isn’t on the field.
Robinson's athleticism can help expand the playbook for coordinator Jim Haslett. Robinson can be used as a zone-dropper or to supplement pressure in Haslett's fire-zone calls. It's a scheme that requires versatility, speed and smarts.
So far during camp, Robinson is exhibiting all three. Now it's time to keep fingers crossed that he can avoid injury.