We begin the final week of our “Blog Bits” series hearing from tight end Adrien Robison, who has a golden opportunity to land a starting job if he can stay healthy and show that he can be productive.
Q: Here we are, new year, new opportunity. Besides being healthy and perhaps a little lighter, what do you think has been the biggest change for you that you feel will give you an edge in this competition?
A: I would say my maturity as a player and as a professional. Being on time, having extra meetings with coach throughout the offseason as they’ve been allowed by the CBA – I want to show Coach Coughlin and everyone that I’m serious and I want to win a job, so that would definitely be the biggest difference. I don’t feel like I’m looked at as a kid or a rookie anymore, so it’s time to step up.
Q: You’ve been given a few snaps this spring with the starters. How do you feel things have progressed? Do you feel as though you’ve jumped out ahead in this competition?
A: I feel like I’m definitely picking up the offense more and more. I wouldn’t say anyone is in the lead for the position because we haven’t put pads on yet, but I definitely like where I’m at. I get to go with Eli (Manning) a lot so I’m happy about that.
Q: You spoke about changes you made to your diet and workout. What kind of effect have you noticed in your performance because of that?
A: The biggest thing is that I feel like I can run for a longer period of time without getting tired. Coach (Ben) McAdoo talked about the importance of being in shape for four quarters so that’s been one of my focuses, making sure I’m in that kind of shape.
Q: You’re all learning the offense at the same time. Has that made learning this offense easier or harder?
A: About the same. Remember, Kellen (Davis) and Daniel (Fells) have both been in the league for a while. When you’ve got guys who have been in the league and been through multiple offenses in their careers, they probably did certain things we’re doing now and can give you certain pointers here and there about how to do things.
Q: From a technique perspective, how much of a difference is there in this offense versus what you needed to do in the past?
A: There’s some difference. The main differences are footwork and our targets on blocking.
Q: Has that been hard to switch over to after having done it the other way for so long?
A: Not too bad. We watch film and then coach (Kevin M. Gilbride) goes over the small details before we practice. It’s a new offense so they throw a lot at you just so you can get the whole picture. Then once you start to learn it you can focus on the smaller details, and I feel like that’s where I’m at now.
As far as assignments I think I’m doing that well. Now it’s just about small details like footwork, hand placement, helmet placement – all that stuff factors in.
Q: What’s it been like to have a new position coach?
A: Pretty good. They’re both very good coaches, but I’d say the biggest difference is in how they communicate. With a coach like Coach (Mike) Pope, who’s really strict, different people respond different ways. Coach Gilbride is still a stickler, but he’s not necessarily a drill sergeant. I don’t mean to sound bad about Coach Pope, but he was more strict. That part of it, I feel like it’s better for me personally. It’s more forgiving, but you can’t make the same mistake over and over.
Q: Coach Pope was always known for his unique drills, all of which had a purpose, of course. Has Coach Gilbride come up with anything off the wall yet?
A: Nah, right now Coach Gilbride is focusing more on our assignments. The CBA is different so we‘ve only had so much time on the field and we’re not allowed to work extra time with coach. I’m sure he has drills we will do in training camp, but he’s given us stuff to work on our own since he can’t be there. He still has drills he wants us to work on.