JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser spent time this week with wide receiver Allen Robinson, discussing three topics as the Jaguars prepared to play the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan, Sunday
The topic: Heading home
The background:Robinson, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2014 NFL Draft, grew up in Southfield, Michigan – a northern suburb of Detroit. The Jaguars played at Detroit in the third preseason game of his rookie season, but Sunday will be Robinson's first regular-season NFL game at Ford Field, a stadium where he played seven times while playing for Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory School. He said he has had a decent amount of ticket requests from friends and family for Sunday, but "nothing crazy."
The quote:"It's pretty cool. My family comes to a lot of my games, but growing up there, it will be fun to play in front of people that I have. It's fun, but I'm not a guy who gets too overemotional or overexcited about things like that. At the end of the day, it's going to Detroit and it may be different once I get into Ford Field, but I've played there a lot. I'm kind of used to it. Growing up, I wasn't a big Detroit Lions fan anyway. It will be a good experience. It will be fun. But it's nothing I'm overwhelmingly excited about."
The topic: Basketball No. 1
The background:Robinson played collegiately at Penn State University, but football didn't become his sport of choice until late in his high school career. Basketball was his first favorite sport growing up and for a long time baseball was perhaps a close second.
The quote: "For me growing up, if I was prioritizing my sports basketball was by far No. 1. Then I would maybe even say it was baseball with football probably last as far as how much time I spent off the field. Basketball was year-round for a long time, and I can remember going to the batting cage for baseball season – but once football was over, it was over. I played baseball until my sophomore year of high school. But it was always basketball through high school. I was always playing basketball in the spring, summer, winter – all the time. It was hard giving it up. Even now, watching NBA games it makes me reminisce a little bit. At the same time, it is what it is."
The topic:The difficult season
The background:Robinson made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, catching 80 passes for a career-high 1,400 yards and setting a franchise record with 14 touchdown receptions. This season has been more difficult. With defenses scheming to take away deep-ball opportunities, Robinson has 48 receptions for 549 yards and five touchdowns through nine games.
The quote: "I've just had to keep chugging away and make the most of my opportunities – each and every week. That's all I can do: go out there and continue to play hard and continue to maximize my opps. I don't look at this season as being more difficult. It's like I said in the offseason: 'The better you play, the better you're going to have to play.' At the end of the day, I knew it might be a little different [this season] as far as coverage and things like that, but that's what I signed up for. I'm holding up good. It's a long season and there are still seven games left. I'm taking it one game at a time and trying to go out and make plays. I always keep that in the big picture – that it's a long season. We're trying to get things going."