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Entering Year Two, Mark Robinson Feeling Far More Comfortable

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For any player entering their second year in the NFL, the game slows down. It’s especially true for LB Mark Robinson, who isn’t just entering his second year in the NFL, he’s entering just his third season playing linebacker overall. A college running back who didn’t make the switch to defense until 2021 for Ole Miss, Robinson sees the game slowing down for him entering 2023. He spoke about it with reporters Tuesday, via 93.7 The Fan.

“For me, I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable,” he said. “Things are just second nature. That’s what happens when you stand out for two years. It’s a routine.”

Robinson spent most of his college days playing running back at Presbyterian and Southeast Missouri State before transferring to Ole Miss and becoming a linebacker in the process. He quickly picked up the position, recording 91 tackles and three sacks in his one year for the Rebels.

He turned that year into becoming a draft pick, albeit a late seventh-r0ound selection of the Steelers last season. Despite being new to the NFL and the position, he flashed in camp, showcasing his energy, hit power, and some baseline coverage traits, even knowing that he’s not a phenomenal athlete.

Most of his rookie season was spent inactive. He suited up in Week 6 but logged only five total snaps, all on special teams. He wouldn’t take the field again until Week 15, leading for some frustrated fans to criticize the coaching staff for not suiting him up earlier.

When he finally played, his role was specialized, working in game-planned heavy defensive packages to stop the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens’ rushing attacks. Robinson held his own overall, flying to the football and playing with the reckless abandon he showed on tape.

For Robinson, it’s hard to quantify his progress but he’s aiming to get better each practice.

“It’s the daily things. Nothing mystical, like Coach T always says,” he said. “It’s just every day showing up, doing my job.”

Improving his coverage will be key too but he turned heads Tuesday with a pick-six off Kenny Pickett, taking advantage of first-team reps with free agent addition Cole Holcomb limited to positional drills for now. Robinson will look to carve out a role in 2023 and if he can elevate his play his summer, he might force the Steelers to find him snaps.



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