A'Shawn Robinson sees fit in Lions defense by watching Haloti Ngata

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – A’Shawn Robinson has been watching the past week or so since he arrived with his new team, the Detroit Lions. There hasn’t been a lot of work together yet, but it’ll come.

And when it does, Robinson will be learning as much as he can from the current veteran of the Lions defensive line, Haloti Ngata.

“You can learn a lot from just watching him play, how they go [about] themselves and be about their business and everything,” Robinson said. “Just watching them and looking at them, how they do things. How they go out there and work and how they are just focused on everything, it’s amazing.

“Being able to learn things from them and just go to talk to him and for him to enlighten me is just great.”

So what’s the best piece of advice Ngata gave Robinson? Be ready to work and do whatever you can.

Eventually, the Lions are hoping Robinson replaces Ngata as a long-term option. Robinson is expected to be part of the rotation immediately – more likely as the No. 3 tackle behind Ngata and either Tyrunn Walker or Stefan Charles – and should be an efficient run-stopper.

He’s shown flashes of being an effective pass-rusher, particularly during his freshman year at Alabama, when he led the Crimson Tide with 5.5 sacks and was named a first-team freshman All-American by The Sporting News. The Lions are hoping to get more of the complete tackle he showed to be during his freshman year than the run-stopper he was the past two seasons, when he was asked essentially to be more of a space-eater so others could make tackles.

In Detroit’s defense, that won’t happen.

Robinson believes he can fit into the defensive scheme coordinator Teryl Austin runs because it relies on the tackles being able to get into the backfield to make plays, as Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley did in 2014. That’s when the Lions' defense was most effective.

Robinson, though, has no allusions of becoming Suh.

“I feel I have a lot of potential,” Robinson said. “But I’m not Suh. I’m A’Shawn Robinson. He’s a great player and I just to work as hard as I can to be the best player I can be.”