For the first time in the preseason, the St. Louis Rams will not play Greg Robinson with the starting offensive line. They made the move, according to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch, to give the second overall pick a break after constantly rotating him between the left tackle and left guard spot.
Rams are not down on G. Robinson in any way. But he's head is spinning after switching continuously from LG to LT.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) August 23, 2014
Team wants to back him off a bit tonight and then have him focus in on left guard from here on out, only using him at LT in emergency.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) August 23, 2014
Robinson got reps at left tackle while Jake Long was out of the lineup, recovering from his ACL tear. Rodger Saffold will work at left guard, and Davin Joseph will start at right guard, his natural position, in Saturday's game against the Browns.
It's disappointing news to hear, but it's not an immediate cause for concern. Robinson's a talented blocker. He'll be fine over the long haul, but it might take him some time to adjust considering he came from an Auburn offense vastly different from the one the Rams use and most NFL teams for that matter.
It does raise another question about the decision to keep flipping Robinson between the left tackle and left guard spots. Left tackle is a tough position to learn in the NFL, especially for a guy who isn't used to pass blocking very much, as was the case with Robinson at Auburn.
He admitted in June that he was struggling to learn the playbook and the new position (he played tackle in college). So why keep pushing him into a more difficult left tackle position instead of letting him focus on playing guard? Obviously that would have left someone else to fill in for Jake Long and Rodger Saffold in the first two preseason games, but it would have allowed Robinson to focus on mastering one position instead of trying to learn two.
Like I said, Robinson will be fine in the long run, but this does look like a questionable decision by the team. It also, combined with the health issues for Saffold and Jake Long, raises concerns about the Rams' depth at offensive tackle.