In Sunday’s 37-21 loss to the Chiefs, the Browns offensive line performed much better against a tough Chiefs defensive front.
Part of that success was due to the fact that rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison was sidelined with an illness and former #2 overall pick Greg Robinson filled in as the starting left tackle.
Robinson performed well in his 75 snaps, posting the second best pass-blocking grade by Pro Football Focus with 80.5.
Of course. Baker Mayfield was sacked one time and that was because of a miscommunication between Robinson and tight end David Njoku
Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams told reporters on Monday that Robinson and Harrison will compete during practice to decide who starts at left tackle. Robinson is listed as the starter but that is only because Harrison is considered injured although he expects to be back.
One person that advocated for Robinson to remain at left tackle was quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“Greg Robinson starting at left tackle and playing well,” said Mayfield when he was asked about positives from the Browns loss. “There’s promise right there. We’ve just got to be able to see that positive because you know you very well could throw in the towel at this point, but that’s not what we’re going to do. That’s not what we’re about.”
Robinson struggled during the first several years of his NFL career with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams as well as the Detroit Lions after the Rams traded him there last summer. Being compared to Hall of Fame tackle Orlando Pace, Robinson didn’t live up to expectations whether it was at tackle or guard.
He signed with the Browns in June with the expectations that’d he be a reserve lineman and up until this past Sunday, he was used as a sixth lineman on certain goal-line run plays that needed an additional blocker.
Now the 26-year-old is potentially getting another shot to prove he was worthy of being the second overall pick in the 2014 draft and a chance to help the rookie quarterback stay upright down the stretch as the Browns offense hopes to build upon their performance from last week.
As for Harrison, if he does get benched, I hope he doesn’t fall back into the hole he was in over the last several years where his off the field issues got him kicked off the Texas football team and resulted in him not playing football for a couple years.
Harrison has talent but obviously has things he needs to work on and it’s shown in recent weeks. Maybe him sitting back and watching Robinson could do him some good and he can learn from watching the veteran.
I don’t think either option is a long-term fit for the Browns but they have to make it through the final seven weeks to keep Baker Mayfield upright and healthy because he’s the top priority for the present and future of the organization.