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Healed from knee woes, Bears WR Allen Robinson ‘ready for this time right here’

Allen Robinson speaks with the media in March. Tim Boyle/For the Sun-Times

BOURBONNAIS — Allen Robinson is neither a rookie nor a quarterback, but he reported with them to Olivet Nazarene University on Monday. He didn’t get to training camp three days early to tour the sights, either.

“The only place I’ve really explored so far,” he said, “is Chipotle.”

Instead, he focused on testing his left knee, the last part of his recovery from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered on his first catch last year.

“I’ve been able to accomplish a lot,” the former Jaguars receiver said Thursday in his first media session since March. “I think it was real good for me just to be able to knock a little bit of the rust off going against players before we actually get into the whole real grind and meat of camp.”

That will start Friday. Robinson, who was limited during the team’s offseason activities, doesn’t plan to open training camp on the physically unable-to-perform list.

“It’s been a process that we’ve taken a little bit slower, but I think that was for the best,” Robinson said. “It just was all about getting me ready for this time right here. I feel great. I feel 100 percent, and I’m ready to go.”

The Bears handed Robinson a three-year, $42 million contract in March — injury and all — to give quarterback Mitch Trubisky the explosive receiver he lacked last season.

“He goes up, gets the football, creates separation,” Trubisky said. “He can make those acrobatic catches that we haven’t seen here in the past. He can separate with speed, he’s physical and he runs great routes.

“He’s really a student of the game. That’s something I’ve learned. You can’t really see that on film. But just being with him in meetings, he understands the offense, not only his job but the guys around him. As a receiver, that allows you to get open more often.”


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How he jells with Trubisky, though, will be one of the most crucial details of every camp practice. The two have had little time to work together — until now.

“He can do a lot of things really well,” coach Matt Nagy said. “Through this free-agency process, we talked about how he’s a big physical receiver, a red-zone threat. He’s good against press. He has experience. We know he has all that.

“I think right now the biggest thing that we’d like to do coming out of this camp is having him and Mitchell just create that timing, just that connection between the two. That’s going to be important.”

Asked what Trubisky could do to help him, Robinson took the opposite tack.

“It’s all about what he needs,” Robinson said. “That’s the biggest thing about this game and about offense. It’s everything being catered to the comfort level of the quarterback. That’s about timing. That’s about ball location. Anything. It’s all about quarterback comfort.”

And, now that he has recovered, receiver comfort, too.

Want your Bears training camp update without delay? Each day of summer practice, Sun-Times Bears’ beat writers Patrick Finley, Adam Jahns and Mark Potash will share exclusive insights on the workout and interviews in a livestream conversation 1 p.m. daily through August 12. Catch their live analysis and ask questions on Twitter: @suntimes_sports or follow Sun-Times Sports on Periscope to be notified of each live report.