JACKSONVILLE – His appreciation is high and it's real.
Maybe it wouldn't have been as high or as real six or seven years ago. But left tackle Cam Robinson is a seven-year veteran now – and as such, one of the Jaguars' most-tenured players.
Being part of a contending, first-place team matters. A lot.
"It's extremely special," Robinson said.
Robinson, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2017 NFL Draft and the team's second-longest-tenured player, joined senior writer John Oehser for this Week 11 O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including the team's response this week to a one-sided loss to the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday.
"We didn't play well, so we lost the game," he said. "It's more concerning if you play well, you do everything right and then you still lose the way we did. If you play the way we play, you're going to lose, especially against a great team – and that's a great team. That's what it was."
Robinson, the longest-tenured Jaguars player after offensive lineman Tyler Shatley, has played on two AFC South championship teams – 2017 and 2022. He also has played on two teams that finished with the NFL's worst record and selected No. 1 overall in the next offseason's NFL Draft.
"It's flown by," Robinson said. "I can't even explain it. It's been crazy. It's like you blink and it's gone. When you're young, you don't know what you don't know. You're just kind of rolling with the punches and just kind of going with the flow. But the older you get, you're kind of learning to be in the moment and appreciate every situation.
"You're closer to being on the back end than you are to the front end. That's something that you eventually start to develop appreciation for, that the important point we're at now is just being in the moment."
Robinson long has been one of the Jaguars' most vocal players – and one of their most respected players in the locker room. If that has translated into being a leader, he said it's a role that has developed naturally.
"It's never anything that I've tried to force," he said. "I always feel like the thing I've taken from good coaches that I've had is their leadership always just felt natural. It never feels like they're trying to force anything on you or force you to do anything like they do. They kind of just lead by example."
And yes, he said, the difficult seasons make playing for a team that has won 12 of its last 16 games meaningful.
"The older I get, the more appreciation I have for it," he said. "I've been through all the ups and downs. I've been five minutes from a Super Bowl [following the 2017 season] and I've seen the No. 1 pick two years in a row. You kind of just develop an appreciation for those ups and those downs because it molds you and turn you into the type of player and person you're eventually going to become."
Listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Robinson below. To listen to more episodes of the O-Zone, click HERE.