METAIRIE, La. -- Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson spent his entire first training camp listening to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams constantly berate him.
His second camp has started much better -- less screaming and more playing time.
Robinson, the Saints first-round pick in the 2010 draft, is working with the first-team defense while incumbent Tracy Porter continues to rehabilitate his left knee after offseason surgery.
And eight practices into training camp, Williams is singing Robinson's praises"
"Patrick has had a phenomenal camp," said Williams, who noted that he had yet to yell at Robinson. "You know what? Patrick Robinson is speeding up Tracy Porter's recovery process. Tracy wants to get back out there in a hurry because he sees how well Patrick is doing.
"And I mean that sincerely."
Robinson's time with the first-team defense in Porter's absence is nothing new to him. He started four games as a rookie when Porter missed time because of a knee injury.
But Robinson is now more comfortable, having had an entire season in the NFL to gain experience.
"I know what to do," Robinson said. "And I'm not trying to over-think things. I think that's the big difference from last year to this year."
His comfort level has been evident, no more so than one play in a practice earlier this week.
The team was working on third-down situations and quarterback Drew Brees set the offense up in a third-and-four, receiver Devery Henderson split to his left.
At the snap, Robinson read the play, a slant to Henderson, and jumped the route, knocking the ball away from the receiver for an incompletion.
Robinson played in 11 games, finishing with 25 tackles. He had a career-best eight tackles in a game against Arizona, the first game he started as a Saint.
New Orleans took the 5-foot-11, 191-pounder with the 32nd pick in 2010, building depth at a position that in previous seasons had been a problem area.
He said that hasn't added any additional pressure, though.
"Not in my opinion," Robinson said. "I'm just here to do exactly what I'm supposed to do, to be honest. I'm not trying to put any pressure on myself."
Coaches were quietly wondering what kind of shape Robinson would be in once the lockout ended and, to the surprise of defensive backs coach Tony Oden, the cornerback returned in "tip-top shape."
That has allowed Robinson to focus his entire attention on the field in his second training camp, something Oden said has been evident from the start.
"He came back and it was very, very evident that he had been working hard," Oden said. "His transition was good from day one.
He understands the defense. He understands how the defense pertains to him and the people next to him. He's starting to think more big picture as opposed to just him."
As for Williams' penchant for yelling at the then-rookie a year ago, Robinson said it only helped him.
"I think that makes me better because I know that he sees something in me," Robinson said. "That's something I'm very grateful for."
Notes: Receiver Marques Colston missed his third straight practice as he rests his right knee. Additionally, defensive tackle Mitch King missed with a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation, an arrhythmia. . The players have Monday off, but Saints coach Sean Payton said practice Tuesday-Thursday will be from 4-6:45 p.m.