IRVINE, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams left tackle Greg Robinson had quite possibly the greatest game of his professional career on Saturday. Rams coach Jeff Fisher volunteered it and Robinson firmly agreed to it, a rousing development for the former No. 2 draft pick who is in desperate need of a breakthrough season.
It happened even though Robinson is admittedly overweight.
"I’m dealing with a little weight problem," Robinson said. "But it’s camp."
Robinson spent the offseason training harder than he ever really has, building strength and working under the tutelage of former Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley. But he's 14 pounds heavier than he'd like to be. Robinson was playing at 336 pounds as of Tuesday's practice. His top range is 325; his ideal weight is 322. And the coaches have been on him about getting it back there.
Robinson called it "water weight" because the heat in Southern California has forced him to consume excessive amounts of water -- but he also knows he must monitor his eating habits.
No more food after 9 p.m.
"Just eat healthier, try to watch what I eat and don’t snack too much," Robinson said. "That’s the main thing. And just be aware of the possibilities of gaining weight. It’s so easy because there’s so much food right now."
The Rams took a big risk by selecting Robinson out of Auburn University with their second overall pick in 2014 and have yet to benefit. Robinson was the most-penalized offensive lineman in the NFL last season, but an even bigger issue was the amount of times he allowed pressure on the Rams' quarterbacks.
Pro Football Focus ranked the Rams' offensive line 28th last season, which spoke loudly of Robinson's shortcomings.
The 23-year-old Robinson needs a big 2016 season to protect the blind side of prized rookie quarterback Jared Goff and to avoid the "draft bust" label. His first chance at that, in the early stages of an eventual 28-24 victory over the Cowboys at a packed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, was encouraging.
Fisher said it "may have been the best preseason game that Greg has played to date."
"Light years better," Robinson said, "and one of the best games I've had in terms of slowing the game down. I felt no pressure for real. Things were just going smoothly. I wouldn't say there isn't room for improvement, but I do feel like I attacked that game with the right mindset, the proper preparation, and things went a lot smoother than last year."
Robinson merely called it a "stepping stone," but he feels stronger, healthier. He noticed how much quicker he's been coming out of his stance, even with some of that unwanted weight lingering. And he believes his mindset is "just a lot more advanced than last year," when he continually struggled to adapt to the more advanced zone-blocking schemes of the NFL.
Robinson took 13 snaps with the first-team offense on Saturday and never once allowed a hint of pressure. He stepped out to effectively help on running plays, kept defenders in front of him on every chance and did not get penalized. (That's a big deal this year.)
But here's the thing -- it was only 13 snaps.
"I did feel a little winded in the game," Robinson said, "and we didn’t really have many reps."
Yeah, the weight needs to come down.