Allen Robinson is coming off his worst NFL season, struggling through injury in an inefficient offense in Chicago. Joining the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams this offseason, the wideout is now slated to play a crucial role alongside Cooper Kupp.
Robinson's physical ability to win at the catch-point is evident, but Matthew Stafford was equally impressed by the receiver's mental acuity during offseason workouts.
"I've been very, very impressed with his ability to grasp our offense, his role in our offense," the Rams quarterback said earlier this month, via the team's official website. "His understanding, even when he might miss something or mess something up, the reason is so sound on why he did something -- he heard this and thought that, and I'm like, 'That's a great thought.' It's really productive growth for him in our offense."
With Stafford not throwing during the spring sessions while rehabbing a lingering elbow issue, the quarterback hasn't able to build any on-field chemistry with Robinson yet, but getting mental reps at this stage in their careers remains beneficial.
In his final year in Chicago, Robinson had his fewest receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in a season in which he played multiple games in his career (38 rec, 410 rec yds, 1 rec TD in 2021). The previous two seasons, he was one of the best receivers in the game, averaging 6.3 catches per tilt, 74.9 yards per game and netting 13 receiving TDs.
The Rams are betting the 28-year-old will return to form.
"I think his route tree is extremely expanded from probably years ago, or maybe what we've had our other receivers do," first-year Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen said. "I mean, he can run a lot of routes that Cooper can, you know -- some of those option routes and choice routes and things that we asked Cooper to do -- because he just has an unbelievable ability to play underneath, himself."
The Rams used 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE) on 83.4 percent of plays in 2021, the highest rate in the NFL. L.A. is counting on Robinson and No. 3 receiver Van Jefferson to play significant roles as the offense evolves in Stafford's second season.