Steelers LB Adrian Robinson Not Happy About One Trick Pony Label

If you heard the NBC broadcast of the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night game against the Indianapolis Colts, you likely heard Cris Collinsworth talk about what head coach Mike Tomlin told him about undrafted free agent linebacker Adrian Robinson.

Collinsworth said that when he asked Tomlin about Robinson, who had solid first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers coach described the Temple product as a one-trick pony that gets up the field, can rush the passer, but doesn\’t play special teams and doesn\’t drop.

As you can imagine, those comments made their way back to Robinson quickly and Monday night the linebacker took to Twitter to post how he feels about and you can read that tweet below.

Robinson had another solid showing in the game against the Colts as he provided several pressures of the quarterback and even knocked down one pass. While he has looked raw, his ability to get after the quarterback certainly can\’t be ignored.

Tomlin certainly knows how to use the media to motivate players, but you have to agree with his assessment of Robinson thus far. That being said, he has potential and has flashed much more in the preseason than any other Steelers rookie linebacker has over the course of the last several seasons that I can remember.

It is not a secret that the Steelers depth at the outside linebacker spot is hurting right now with both James Harrison and Jason Worilds still on the PUP list. The depth at the position got even thinner this past weekend when it was announced that Stevenson Sylvester, who had been working both inside and outside, tore a medial collateral ligament in one of his knees before the team left Latrobe.

Both Harrison and Sylvester have undergone minor procedures over the course of the last week and their status for the opener in Denver is currently in question. Worilds is a mystery all to himself as he is still recovering from offseason wrist surgery.

Thanks to all of the injuries, the Steelers will most likely be forced to keep 9 linebackers, and possibly even 10 on the 53 man roster to start the season. Robinson is most likely battling Mortty Ivy and perhaps even veteran free agent Brandon Johnson for the extra spot or spots. Johnson does play special teams, as does Ivy, who blocked a punt Sunday night, and both still are getting reps before Robinson does. Another thing that is in their favor is that both can also play inside should the need arise.

There is still a lot of preseason football left to be played and Robinson still has a chance to make the 53 man roster as an undrafted free agent linebacker, a feat that I pointed out recently hasn\’t been accomplished since Donovan Woods did it back in 2008.

Robinson might very well be just a one-trick pony right now like Tomlin suggested to Collinsworth, but that trick certainly is exciting to watch and he appears to have the makings of a future show horse.

  • SteelerDave

    After the first preseason game Robinson impressed me enough to look further at his college tapes, his 40 times, etc. and I did just that.

    I must admit that he has one of the best spin moves while rushing the QB that I have ever seen. He has the speed and the drive to be a great pass rusher in the NFL – no questions about that. The question comes concerning his strength and his ability to stop the run. He has also disappeared in college anytime he is asked to bull rush. He simply lacked the strength and technique to bull rush when needed and his run stoppage leaves a lot to be desired.

    All that said, I would confidently say that Robinson is the best OLB pass rusher we have outside of Woodley and Harrison. To me, we need LB’s who can get sacks and pressure a QB. Is Robinson a 1 trick pony? Yes. Can he work his behind off in the weight room and in technique to become a more well rounded OLB? Absolutely.

    He deserves to not only make the 53 but to also see more play time against the 1st and 2nd stringers the next two games. I do feel, however, that he is best served to be on the practice squad this season to give him a chance to add strength and to learn how to stop the run better. One season on the PS and I strongly feel he can be the undrafted steal of the season. The Steelers would be foolish to not give James Junior the chance to develop.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I look at it like this. James Harrison and Lamar Woodley are pretty much one trick ponies by this definition. They both rarely go into coverage, but really just get after the QB and RBs. There is a place for this one trick, especially if they can accomplish the task of getting sacks, in this defense.

  • Don

    I think Harrison has always been a strong run-stopper, and his most famous play came when he dropped into coverage on an ad lib.

  • Brendon Glad

    Seems like every defensive end is a bit like that while they convert to linebacker with Steelers. Even Mike bravely seemed a little “one trickish” for a good while. I like the trick I’m seeing quite a lot.

  • Brendon Glad

    Mike “Vrabel “

  • WilliamSekinger

    Perhaps you should re-watch the 2008 superbowl.

  • Intropy

    As should we all.

  • JayBirdDC

    Woodley is good in coverage. The dropped into coverage one or two times during the last preseason game. He is big but also fast and capable of dropping into coverage. It is a requirements in the Steelers 3-4 since they like to run fire X ILB blitzs, etc.

  • mokhkw

    The thought of moving this guy to the PS makes me nervous.

    Outside of the 4 LB starters, I’d have this guy next on the LB depth chart, before Worilds, Carter, Slyvester & Spence. He reminds me of DeMarcus Ware as a rookie, who was also a one trick pony at the time but made an immediate impact. Gifted pass-rushers are hard to find, better lock this guy up, fast!

  • You are right on the money SteelerDave except he is getting stronger and I agree that he is 3rd best pass rusher right now , Imagine where he could be by seasons end– 2yrs from now and forward — I see a Star ! Everything they hoped Worilds would be and is not

  • They are insane if they dont keep this guy on the regular roster and not just keep him but play him n games , it will make opening cap room next season with James Harrisons contract that much easier because he is a younger hungrier and very gifted version of Harrison who has a nasty streak to boot. Im in total agreement bro !!!