This week's game changer was on the roster last year...just not for very long. Because of that he starts the 2010 anew, ready to make an impact through a full 16 games rather than just the three he played last year.
When the Rams acquired Laurent Robinson from the Falcons last year, it was a fairly typical move, or at least one that's become fairly typical for the way in which the Rams add receivers to the roster. Robinson came to the Rams with lots of unrealized potential. Despite some impressive numbers in his rookie season, his sophomore year was hardly noticeable thanks to injury and being out of place in the wake of a coaching change.
Robinson played his way into the starting lineup with an impressive camp and preseason. He and then QB Marc Bulger seemed to make an instant connection. A third round pick from tiny little Illinois State, he ran sharp routes, flashed nice hands, an ability to work in mid-field crowds and the speed to make things happen after the catch. All those skills were on display when the Rams opened the season. Despite the one-sided loss to the Seahawks, Robinson hauled in 5 passes for 87 yards, including a beautiful 45-yard deep ball that he nabbed with two defensive backs closing in on him.
For a team lacking offensive weapons, Robinson looked like he might provide a real asset in the passing game for the 2009 Rams. Unfortunately, he was lost for the season before half time in week three.
Now, it's a new season, and the Rams' group of young wide receivers has another year of experience under their belt, but of all the players in that unit, the name that people are most interested to see in action is Laurent Robinson. When you flash that kind of potential, fans remember and expect to see more of that talent over the course of a full season.
Robinson will have a rookie quarterback throwing the ball to him this year. Sam Bradford is not your ordinary rookie. His accuracy could be a match made in heaven for Robinson.
Whether or not Robinson breaks out this season remains to be seen. This is, for all intents and purposes, his third season in the league, a year in which many feel that wide receivers hit their stride. Robinson was on his way last year. The Rams will need him to pick up right where he left off if they expect to be a more competitive team this year.