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Allen Robinson stealing Rams camp spotlight in early going

Even without OBJ, Matthew Stafford could have the best wide receiver unit of his career

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

One of my favorite parts of the year is the weeks during training camp when players for all 32 teams begin to get the “standout” label from coaches, teammates, and the media. I remember a couple of years ago, day after day the reports out of Bills camp were the fifth round pick Gabe Davis was not the typical late draftee and Davis has since blossomed into Josh Allen’s number two target, if not becoming a star this season.

But on the west coast, it’s another “number two wideout” that’s stealing the show with the Los Angeles Rams; perhaps only someone like Cooper Kupp could call himself higher in the pecking order.

And though Allen Robinson is not a surprise star by any means, having signed a $48 million contract as a player who has totaled at least 1,100 receiving yards three different times, there appears to be even more excitement than expected through his first week of Rams training camp. Robert Mays of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that coaches are impressed with Robinson’s approach to preparation in the early going.

This may seem like a standard boilerplate answer to how a coach would talk about a player, though not all NFL players think doing homework is important, but it is not uncommon to see others who sign big contracts and then feel too secure after getting paid. Especially since Robinson is used to being the main target in an offense and this season he has to adjust to being second behind Kupp, whatever that may mean.

Maybe Kupp and Robinson prove equally valuable in the L.A. offense this season.

Rams coach Sean McVay says Robinson is “asking all the right questions” so far, showing that Robinson doesn’t think that he has to stop learning or improving after playing eight seasons in the league. Robinson has even more to prove after only catching 38 passes for 410 yards and one touchdown in 12 games with the Chicago Bears last season, as the only weapon on an offense that could have made any receiver have a career-worst campaign.

In an interview with NFL Network’s Omar Ruiz, Robinson cited “learning the offense and being the best version of myself” as his focus through camp right now. “Fine tuning my game, figuring out how my style of play fits into their offense,” Robinson added. “Knowing where I need to be matching the lines on paper and making those things come to life.”

Robinson also said he’s learned a lot from Kupp already.

Adding praise for Robinson to McVay citing Tutu Atwell as a standout for improvement during the offseason (multiple times now) and this could be the best receiving corps that Matthew Stafford has ever had. The Rams could keep six receivers, including Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, and Jacob Harris, but only Kupp and Robinson have proven to be viable NFL starters.

Robinson’s presence might only increase the odds for them to get there one day, since he’s been setting such a good example.