Zaslal: čt Říj 11, 2018 8:26 Předmět: Rookie Jason Sanders
Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson sees his ease in front of a swarm of microphones as symbolic of the more secure person and player he has become since his unsatisfying first stint in New Orleans.
He left the Saints in 2015 as a five-year veteran who'd never quite lived up to expectations since being selected out of Florida State in the first round of the 2010 draft Authentic Jason Motte Jersey , just months after the Saints had won their only Super Bowl. Now he's back one season after winning his first Super Bowl with Philadelphia.
"My first tenure here I was quite weak-minded, to be honest," says Robinson, who signed a four-year free-agent contract worth about $20 million with New Orleans this offseason. "I wasn't that mentally strong. I left and had some experiences, and that definitely helped me. So now I'm a totally different person."
Early in his career, Robinson routinely struggled to get out entire sentences without seizing up in awkward silence as he tried to make his mouth utter the words in his head. It was known that he preferred to conduct interviews off camera.
Not anymore. And the way the 30-year-old Robinson sees it, the same growth in maturity and confidence that helped him overcome his speech impediment also helped him on the field, and he asserts that the Saints are regaining his services at a time when he's the best he's ever been.
"Going through the trials and tribulations 鈥?that really helped me as a person. So I've definitely grown since then, a lot," Robinson said. "I'm more comfortable. I just try not to make it more than what it is."
Robinson said a combination of self-doubt and a tendency to get discouraged by injuries kept him from playing to his potential early in his career. It also didn't help that he played man-to-man coverage all throughout his college career. He described learning the Saints' more exotic defense his rookie season as something akin to "a different language for me. And I was kind of lost 鈥?very lost."
He didn't become a full-time starter until his third season, in 2012, when New Orleans fielded one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Injuries sidelined him nearly all of the 2013 season, when New Orleans defense improved dramatically and the team made the playoffs. He returned as a starter in 2014, when New Orleans again struggled defensively, ranking last in the league, and the Saints missed the playoffs.
Robinson then spent one season each in San Diego and Indianapolis before sliding into a role as a slot defender last season with the Eagles. It seemed to suit him. His four interceptions tied his career high Josh Morrissey Jersey , first set with the Saints in 2011. Robinson added an interception for a 50-yard touchdown in the Eagles' NFC title game triumph over Minnesota.
Now Robinson even has the confidence to discuss some of the changes he's noticed in coach Sean Payton since his previous stint with the club.
"I've definitely seen a difference. Before he was just like very serious about everything," Robinson said. "Now he's kind of lightened up a little bit, has a bit of leeway with certain things.
"I'm not sure why, but he's a little bit more lenient."
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was fresh off his Super Bowl MVP season when he was invited to announce Robinson as the Saints' top pick in the following draft. He said Robinson's maturity has been evident in camp.
"He just doesn't look like a young guy who's still trying to get it and understand it," Brees said. "He looks like a guy who's been there, played that position, and has had that experience. He's seen that route and that concept. ... He is much better with his communication with other defensive backs out there on the field."
Back in a game for the first time in 20 months, Ryan Tannehill had plenty of time to throw Thursday night.
"The protection was awesome," coach Adam Gase said. "He was back there peeling an orange."
An untouched Tannehill completed passes on the first four plays in his return from two serious injuries to his left knee, and the Miami Dolphins lost their exhibition opener to Tampa Bay 26-24.
Tannehill, seeing his first action since December 2016, led a 40-yard drive that ended with a missed field goal in his only series. He was off-target on his final two throws and finished 4 for 6 for 32 yards.
"We didn't end up with points, which is what you want to do," Tannehill said. "But I thought for our first time hitting the field, my first time hitting the field in a long time, it felt good to be back out there."
New Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro made a 26-yard field goal with 23 seconds left to cap a 67-yard drive and give them the win.
Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston played the second quarter against Miami's second team and led a group of reserves to 10 points on drives of 32 and 40 yards. He went 11 for 13 for 102 yards in four series.
"Man Clark Harris Jersey , it was just great to play against another team," Winston said. He's suspended for the first three games of the regular season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bucs on a 57-yard, six-play touchdown drive on their first possession. It was capped by Peyton Barber's 4-yard run.
Miami's David Fales, battling Brock Osweiler for the backup quarterback job, led the second-string offense to a field goal against the Buccaneers' first-team defense. Fales also directed a 75-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, and he finished 8 of 11 for 115 yards.
Osweiler went 10 for 21 for 83 yards. Gase didn't give either reserve QB an edge in their competition.
"This is going to take all of training camp," Gase said. "It's going to take all preseason."
Dolphins fourth-round draft pick Kalen Ballage rushed for 37 yards in 10 carries and caught three passes for 23 yards. He also lost a fumble.
Bucs second-round pick Ronald Jones was held to 9 yards in eight carries, but scored on a 2-yard run.
Catanzaro missed his first extra-point attempt and missed a 53-yard field goal try, but also made two field goals.
"It was great to see him have the chance to get the game-winner," coach Dirk Koetter said. "The good news is he got that missed extra point out of the way so we don't have to repeat that again. He mishit one, and I know he'll be his worst critic."
Rookie Jason Sanders, battling rookie Greg Joseph for the Dolphins' kicking job, made field goals of 29 and 23 yards but missed a 53-yarder. Joseph made a 48-yarder.
Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson and defensive end Robert Quinn protested during the anthem. Stills and Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Quinn stood and raised his right fist. There were no apparent protests by the Buccaneers.
Stills kneeled during the anthem during the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest movement by NFL players.
Bucs: CB Vernon Hargreaves III left in the first quarter with a groin injury and didn't return. ... First-round draft pick DT Vita Vea didn't play. He has missed most of training camp with a calf injury.
Dolphins: Reserve LB Mike Hull left the field on a cart in the second quarter with a left knee injury.
Buccaneers: Tampa Bay plays at Tennessee on Aug. 18.
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