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Old 06-11-2007   #1
Double Barrel
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Default Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Robinson becoming leader for Texans

Cornerback Dunta Robinson decided he wanted to be more of a leader for the Houston Texans before this year's draft.

So when Houston drafted South Carolina's Fred Bennett, and Robinson was reunited with a player he mentored in college, he saw it both as blessing and a push to embrace that role.

Entering his fourth season, Robinson has developed into Houston's most consistent player in the secondary. He has 257 tackles, nine interceptions and four sacks in his career.

He's proud of his accomplishments -- but he seems more interested in talking about his rookie protege. The two met when the fourth-round pick Bennett was a freshman at South Carolina and Robinson a senior.

Coach Gary Kubiak said there's an intriguing dynamic between Robinson and Bennett and that they push each other to improve.
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Watch out, Schaub! There's a new leader in town.

Perhaps we need to find an old CB at the end of his career to mentor Robinson on how to be a leader and mentor to a young guy, though.
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Old 06-11-2007   #2
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

Whatever it takes, we need to see the Robinson from 2004 again. Last year, we started to see that just a bit more, but without the "Wow!" plays. He was back to making the solid, unspectacular plays, for the most part. Now, if he can go back to grabbing some INTs or causing fumbles, he can take away half the field.

Unfortunately, that half of the field will usually be static, and the opposing team will just roll their best WR to the opposite side. WTF is the logic behind that again?
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Old 06-11-2007   #3
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

If Drob could make interceptions like he tackles, he'd be the best CB in the league. One of the reasons I like him being on the strong side.....he's gonna tackle you.
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Old 06-11-2007   #4
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

The only change I've noticed in D.Rob's game is the talent around him.
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Old 06-11-2007   #5
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

D-Robs outspoken, controversial remarks earlier this year on national TV about
the need for David Carr to move on, while of course Carr was still a Texan, reinforced his stature as a team leader in several ways. I've often wondered if his decision to go on the record in such a public manner was entirely his idea ?
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Old 06-11-2007   #6
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
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Watch out, Schaub! There's a new leader in town.

Perhaps we need to find an old CB at the end of his career to mentor Robinson on how to be a leader and mentor to a young guy, though.
Dexter McCleon isn't ancient enough for ya?
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Old 06-11-2007   #7
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

a good read on Dunta and his progression to this point....


One of the highlights of writing this blog for the past month has been emailing with other bloggers and even some national sportswriters. I have been shocked, really, at how accessible Matt Mosely and KC Joyner of ESPN have been (not to mention Will Leitch of Deadspin and most of the people at Chron.com) to a goof-ball blogger who writes about the Houston freakin' Texans.

So, when my buddy Sid suggested a while back that I should do a breakdown of Dunta Robinson to see if he was as good as we all believe him to be, I thought someone like The Football Scientist, KC Joyner might have some good insight.

First, though, I wanted to see what the raw numbers looked like:

16 G 87 Tot
73.0 Solo
14 Ast 3 Sk
6 Int
146 Yds
0 TD
13 PD

16 G
88 Tot
69.0 Solo
19 Ast
1 Sk
1 Int
1 Yds
0 TD
9 PD

16 G
82 Tot
69.0 Solo
13 Ast
0 Sk 2 Int
9 Yds
1 TD
10 PD


Not bad. I mean, he's not Champ Bailey, but who is?1 Still, given the drop off from 2004 to 2005/2006, it seemed like the numbers did not tell the whole story. So, I emailed Joyner.


I was kicking around the idea of breaking down Dunta Robinson in comparison to the elite corners and, possibly, figuring out how much the lack of a good CB2, SS, and FS hurts Dunta. Then, I was reading your latest column regarding corners, and I wondered if I could get your take? Overall, where would you rank Dunta among other corners? Top 15? Also, is it possible that, given even a decent supporting cast in the secondary, Dunta could actually turn in a better YPA than he has thus far?

Somewhat surprisingly, KC replied with a good bit of detail.


Dunta had one of his better years this past season (7.4 YPA) and yet teams still targeted him quite often despite the presence of what would seem like more appealing target options. Robinson does often cover the other team's best WR and he most certainly isn't a shutdown corner, so that's a lot of the reason he is targeted. In previous years Robinson has been dreadful in coverage and I think that accounts for more of his targeting than anything. The lack of good safety play may hurt him some on deep passes and improvements back there could help his YPA some.

Interesting. This seems to fly in the face of what we (meaning both Texans fans and random talking heads) believe about DR. When you look at his rookie numbers, he seems to stack up against some of the better CBs out there, but, to hear Joyner tell it, those rookie numbers belie what was poor overall play. I followed-up with KC.


[Following your column and reply,] I had [some] suspicions about Dunta, mainly because being the best DB on the Texans is like being the prettiest leper in the colony. I am happy with the Okoye draft pick,[...] but there is no doubt that 2008's first rounder will almost have to be a DB.

You say that he's been dreadful in coverage over the past years, but he did have pretty good overall stats in 2004. Did those cover up some mediocre metrics?

Joyner, ever patient with the needy blogger, clarified.


I've been on numerous Texans players bandwagons the past few years (I honestly thought Carr was going to be the next great NFL QB) but Robinson's bandwagon is one I've not been on. To give you an idea of some of my earlier thoughts on him, check out my comment from Scientific Football 2005:



I was rather surprised to see the Dunta Robinson fan club develop so strongly by the end of last season. [...] My early impressions of him were summed up thusly: "Robinson is the rookie I've been telling you about all season, and this week should be another chapter in Robinson's book 'Toast 2: The Second Coming of Elvis Patterson'." As it turned out he wasn’t nearly that bad, but he wasn't great, either. He had some decent performances, but he never really shut anybody down.

Just take a look at his rankings. He's tied for 68th in completion percentage and 63rd in tight/good coverage percentage. He was 61st in deep completion percentage and 74th in short completion percentage. [...]

The key to all of this is his yards per attempt. Despite his lackluster completion percentage rates, he still ranked tied for 17th in yards per attempt. The reason this number is so low is that Robinson didn't allow receivers to get much on short passes. He allowed 52 short completions but only on 13 of those did the receiver end up getting more than 10 yards. [...] He may give you room to throw under him but he's going to tackle you quickly.

[...] He wasn't a top-notch CB last year, but he would've won the most improved in-season award if there were one.

I don't think he was as good last year as people made him out to be, but I think he has a very good chance of being that good this year. His early career popularity may bring his Pro Bowl berth a year earlier than usual, but I don't think it'll be quite this early.

His performances over the past two years have probably been better than his year one performance, so that's in his favor. I'm still probably down on him in part because a lot of the TV talking heads keep saying how great he is and he simply isn't (emphasis added).

That bolded line jumped out at me (which is why I bolded it, fool!); Dunta has actually played better the last two seasons despite a drop off in INTs, tackles, sacks, and passes defended. This is as counterintuitive as it gets, but I trust KC's evaluation. Mainly because I have nothing to suggest that he is incorrect. I suppose one could argue that his job is INTs and PDs and, thus, 2004 was the better year. I think that is overly simplistic, though, and ignores way too many variables. So, unless I see something to contradict Joyner, I'm going to stick with his evaluation.

So, what does this tell us? Well, for one thing, we might only be looking at Robinson as a top-flight CB because he's being compared against some guys who are awful. Much the same way Ahman Green might look like Earl Campbell to us at times this season.

For another thing, it suggests--at least to me--that the Texans need a very good safety as much as (or more) than they need a second CB. I mean, sure, they need a CB2 no doubt. But, seeing as how a dramatic improvement at safety (either one) would make Dunta and the other CB better, that might be the way to go. Otherwise, short of drafting the second coming of Prime Time, the glaring need at safety is going to make any CB we draft less valuable.2

Finally, just as a note to Texans fans, Joyner says "I hope you do remind your readers that I'm not a Texans-basher."

Duly noted, KC. And many thanks.

1 Other than Champ Bailey, of course.
2 Less valuable when compared with his own abilities, not less valuable than Demarcus Faggins.

http://gotexans.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html
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Old 06-11-2007   #8
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

Ok...I stopped reading after he said he thought Carr would be the next great QB...
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Old 06-11-2007   #9
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

Do you think a poor pass rush would have anything to do with anything. Oh wait the D overall improved as the season went on. Thanks Joyner for the insight ... or lack there of.
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Old 06-11-2007   #10
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx View Post
Ok...I stopped reading after he said he thought Carr would be the next great QB...
lol... i stopped when i scrolled down and saw how much text there was.
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Old 06-11-2007   #11
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Do you think a poor pass rush would have anything to do with anything. Oh wait the D overall improved as the season went on. Thanks Joyner for the insight ... or lack there of.
Pass rush certainly has an impact but I believe the greater impact based on the yearly breakdowns and amount of targets has to do with rolled coverages.
As a rookie, with Glenn on the other side, coveraged was probably most often rolled to his side. Since Glenn's departure, coverage has surely been rolled to the other side, leaving Dunta isolated often.

If Dunta is given a pass rush and some safety help, clearly he would be an asset to a winning team and good defense. The beauty is that after this year that statement won't by a hypothesis- it will have been proven to be true!
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Old 06-11-2007   #12
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

Ok....No one jump out of their skin, but IMHO, Faggins is a better one on one cover corner than Dunta...But I think Dunta is better in zone...

If they roll any kind of coverage it needs to be to Dunta's side...
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Old 06-11-2007   #13
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Wink Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx View Post
Faggins is a better one on one cover corner than Dunta...
We disagree.

Sincerely,

J.P. Losman & Lee Evans
November 18, 2006
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Old 06-11-2007   #14
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Watch out, Schaub! There's a new leader in town.
Some teams have a strength on offense. Some teams have a strength in their defense. The Texans' strength seems to be in leadership.

Oh well. These are mostly filler pieces anyway. Once the season starts, the leitmotif of the interviews, articles, and other coverage will change.
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Old 06-11-2007   #15
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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These are mostly filler pieces anyway. Once the season starts, the leitmotif of the interviews, articles, and other coverage will change.
By coverage I hope you mean pass coverage?
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Old 06-11-2007   #16
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
We disagree.

Sincerely,

J.P. Losman & Lee Evans
November 18, 2006

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Old 06-11-2007   #17
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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We disagree.

Sincerely,

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November 18, 2006
lol
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Old 06-11-2007   #18
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
We disagree.

Sincerely,

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November 18, 2006
Took the words our of my mouth. I was at that game and it looked like a replay on the second one. I mean get burned once, it happens, but get burned twice like that.....No Bueno.
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Old 06-11-2007   #19
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

Just to make it clear, I stand by my opinion on Dunta and Petey...

I think Petey has better instincts in man to man pass coverage...I don't think he's as fast nor as athletic than Dunta, but I think he has a better feel for one on one coverage...

Don't have any specific plays to back that claim up, but it's just the feel I got from watching them last year...
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Old 06-11-2007   #20
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Default Re: Robinson becoming leader for Texans

My eyes tell me that DeMarcus doesn't look like he has the feel. Usually you mos def would have a specific play to back it up that showcases it.

Maybe that one Jaguars game where he picks off Gary Coleman for the TD could work, I think that stands on its own well enough.
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