When Adrien Robinson arrived at training camp last month, his knowledge of Giants' offense could be summarized on a 3x5 index card. The tight end selected on the fourth round of the NFL Draft had missed most of the team's spring workouts while completing his academic requirements at the University of Cincinnati.
"I really wasn't able to start learning the offense until we got to camp," Robinson said today.
Robinson understandably started slow, but he has been coming on fast by making more plays in practice. He made one of the best catches in today's workout when he reached over linebacker Greg Jones to secure a pass from David Carr.
"Thank goodness," coach Tom Coughlin said of Robinson's progress. "He's starting to come along. He's starting to get it a little bit. It's been a long haul. He's the guy that missed the whole spring with the academic thing. Graduation was late and he couldn't come. He's really just scratching the surface."
The biggest reason Robinson has progressed so impressively is his increased knowledge of the playbook. Robinson also has a great position coach in Michael Pope and veteran mentors in Martellus Bennett and Bear Pascoe and has been able to perform at camp with a little help from his friends.
"If I'm not sure about something, I'll ask a quarterback before the snap," Robinson said. "Nine times out of 10, I'm right, but sometimes they'll say I have to do something different (than what he thought his assignment was).
"I feel like I'm finally starting to get a grasp of the offense a little more," Robinson said. "It's starting to become kind of second nature. I'm still thinking a lot out there because you don't want to make a mistake and get someone hurt or get someone taking extra hits. Once I know 100 percent, the entire offense, I'll be able to play fast every snap."
Robinson's confidence increased after he made his preseason debut Friday in Jacksonville.
"It felt good to get the first game under my belt," Robinson said. "I didn't catch any balls, but that's not something I was worried about. I was more focused on blocking and assignments. I made some assignment mistakes, but I didn't make as many as I thought I would make.
"After being in the first game and getting a couple of blocks, it's a confidence booster because it's like, 'Wow, I can play with these guys.' I do deserve to be out here. I'm ready for the next game. I was joking to some of the older guys about preseason games. They go in and get a couple of snaps but for me, it's an actual game. I'm taking all these games serious and trying to be better with each one."