Draft experts continue to cite left tackle as a big need for the Cleveland Browns, but those who have played the game believe in Greg Robinson going forward
The second half of the Cleveland Browns 2018 season was a lot of fun as the struggling franchise finally turned a corner and won five of their final eight games. This came after the team fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
With those two gone, interim head coach Gregg Williams and interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens helped the players start to reach their potential. That included quarterback Baker Mayfield who threw 17 touchdowns in that stretch — which led to him breaking the record for touchdown passes by a rookie with 27.
One of the biggest reasons for Mayfield’s turnaround was the lack of pressures he faced once Kitchens started calling plays. After being sacked 20 times in the first half of the season, Mayfield ended up going down just five times in the second half.
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Kitchens deserves a lot of credit for that as he shifted to a dish protection scheme while also calling plays that got the ball out of Mayfield’s hands quicker. That helped a lot, but so did the play of Greg Robinson — a former No. 2 overall pick out of Auburn who joined Cleveland as a free agent in June who took over the starting left tackle job once Kitchens was placed in charge of the offense.
Despite his play, many still see the Browns drafting a left tackle early but not everyone thinks they should. Former Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas has been a big believer in Robinson, but so too is Shaun O’Hara, a former center for the Browns and New York Giants.
"“The way he played in the second half of the season, I think he definitely deserves a shot to be the guy,’’ O’Hara said according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Obviously with Joe Thomas there for a long time, the left tackle position was never a question, but you would always struggle to find five guys that really could drive the bus and I think they’ve got that now.’’"
Apparently, general manager John Dorsey agrees as Mary Kay Cabot also said there have been discussions about an extension for Robinson. Should they lock him up, the Browns may feel like they can head into 2019 with the blind side taken care of.
This isn’t to say they shouldn’t continue to add depth, and competition, but to know there’s a capable starter on the team is a huge plus. It will keep them from having to reach for a player simply because of what position he plays.
Robinson may have some doubters, but those who believe in him know what they’re talking about. Here’s to hoping they’re right.