JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson couldn’t hide his smile when asked about Alabama’s 24-7 win over Florida State on Saturday.
Robinson started all 43 games during his three-year career with the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s victory gave Robinson bragging rights over the Florida State alums on the Jaguars active roster – cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith.
“It was exactly what I thought it would be,” Robinson said. “I called it. I wasn’t surprised. So, Roll Tide.”
I asked Robinson why Alabama is so good in these hyped season openers.
“Discipline,” Robinson said. “Everything is so structured. They are prepared for anything they are going to see. It’s preparation and discipline.”
Robinson, selected in the second round in April, is preparing for his first start in the NFL. The Jaguars travel to Houston on Sunday.
This is the definition of baptism by fire. Any left tackle playing at NRG Stadium would have his hands full with Houston’s vicious pass rush, led by J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney.
“I started studying those guys,” Robinson said. “What they bring to the table and what they’re good at, which is a lot.”
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone described Houston as “the top defense in the league” on Monday. The Jaguars expected Branden Albert to be the starting left tackle for this game, but he retired three days into training camp.
Now, Robinson has to perform at an incredibly high level in a difficult environment.
“You’re going to have to do it,” Marrone said. “That’s why we drafted him. He has come in here and worked hard. He has a tough test. Every single one of them up front. Not a lot of teams have been very successful against this defense.”
Robinson is excited for the season to be here. His first training camp featured a grinding schedule that included four total joint practices (two with New England and Tampa Bay) in addition to the preseason games.
“I was able to keep my power throughout camp, but my weight fluctuated,” Robinson said. “I got my weight back to where I needed it. I want to be between 318-322 pounds.”
Robinson split first-team reps with veteran Josh Wells before Marrone named him the starter after the third preseason game.
“My comfort level really grew,” Robinson said. “The more reps you get, things slow down for you a little bit. That’s was the biggest difference. I feel like I’m prepared. I’m still doing it right now getting prepared, so I can go out there and get my job done to the best of my ability.”
Robinson not only has to protect quarterback Blake Bortles, but will be instrumental in trying to get the running game going. The Jaguars are counting on first-round rookie Leonard Fournette to be an immediate star.
“He’s extremely gifted,” Robinson said. “I’m looking forward to getting him going.”
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.