As summer seems to get hotter and hotter and we get down to only baseball on TV, there’s only one thing to do to keep our interest – answer questions and give our thoughts about the Saints heading into training camp.
We’ll run out one question a day in a hope that we satiate your thirst until actual toe meets leather. The questions are in no particular order of importance…except for No. 1.
16. Will Patrick Robinson build on his 2011 season?
Patrick Robinson was somewhat of a surprise pick by the Saints in the first round of the 2010 draft. He played in 11 games as a rookie, starting four of them.
But last season, he quietly had a standout follow-up season, growing by leaps and bounds into a quietly dominant player.
He started off the campaign slowly, allowing Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers to finish with a 158.3 quarterback rating (5-for-5 for 80 yards and one touchdown given up), according to Pro Football Focus.
But he quickly recovered and finished the season, playoffs included, allowing quarterbacks to finish with just a 65.8 rating against him, ninth-best in the NFL for those cornerbacks who played 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
As a comparison, Tracy Porter, who signed with Denver in the offseason, allowed quarterbacks a 100.4 rating in throws to his area of coverage.
Robinson led the Saints with four interceptions in 2011 and was second in passes defensed with 14, behind only Jabari Greer’s 23.
His speed allows him to already be good in the passing game. His run defense, though, is where he’ll have to improve in 2012. He missed eight tackles in 2011 and, according to PFF, finished the year at a net negative in run support.
Another NFL statistical website showed that the Saints struggled at stopping short passes to his side, though he’s not alone to blame for that. Still, the Saints came in at 26th in the NFL, allowing teams to convert 70 percent of their passes for an average of 7.02 yards to the short left side. Those were 26th and 29th, respectively, in the NFL.
Then again, NFL teams couldn’t go long on the left side, completing just 33.3 percent of passes the deep left, fourth-lowest completion rate in the league last season.
Robinson now has two seasons under his belt and now under Ken Flajole, he should make more strides. Flajole helped St. Louis become the No. 7 pass defense in 2011.
We see Robinson backing up his 2011 with a solid 2012, especially since he’s solidly the No. 1 right cornerback now that Porter has moved to a different team.