Bears hoping introverted WR Allen Robinson moves to head of the class
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BOURBONNAIS — Leave it to a Bears coach to invoke the — sing it with us — T-formation.
‘‘Isn’t there a ‘T’ in classrooms, where if you sit down the middle or in the front that’s good?’’ coach Matt Nagy wondered aloud Tuesday. ‘‘He’s in that T, so that’s all that matters.’’
‘‘He’’ is Allen Robinson, whom the Bears guaranteed $25.2 million on a three-year, $42 million deal in March — while he was recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee — to serve as Mitch Trubisky’s lead receiver. The former Jaguars standout is healthy again and is as inquisitive on the field as he is in the front of the classroom. Nagy calls him serious and focused during the times the Bears are installing their new offense.
‘‘He’s asking great questions,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘He sits in the front of the room. He’s a little introverted, which is fine. That’s what we talk about: Everyone is a little different. But he comes to me probably three to four times a practice and asks me certain questions, so we have a good relationship going there.’’
Despite popular perception, star receivers don’t always have the most bluster. The Bears’ most boastful receiver is probably their fifth option. Josh Bellamy once wore a T-shirt with a picture of himself on it to move into camp.
Robinson won’t do that anytime soon.
‘‘There’s some [receivers] that have personas,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘That’s not necessarily what we’re about in this offense. . . . With Allen, we know his strengths. We want to build on his weaknesses. Then you have to get that relationship down between him and [Trubisky].’’
That doesn’t happen in a classroom. After recovering from the injury he suffered on his first catch last season, Robinson is eager to get hands-on experience with his new quarterback. He reported to camp July 16, three days before his veteran teammates, to work on that chemistry.
‘‘Man, it’s fun,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘Being away from the grass for 10-plus months, it feels so good to be back out here running routes, competing, going against defenders, everything like that. It’s exciting.’’
Robinson said he feels fine. He has sat out one of the Bears’ five practices in the name of caution. When he has been on the field, he has worked on small details, such as routes and sinking his hips.
Nagy said he has noticed Robinson has some uncertainty on routes that break inside or go a specific depth. He needs to learn trust his repaired knee.
‘‘Once you get through that part, then you’re ready to go,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘So we have the time. That’s the benefit of having five weeks in the preseason. And then we get him ready for Week 1.’’
Unlike many top receivers, Robinson isn’t touting his preseason yardage goals or making predictions.
‘‘I’m here at Chicago to help them win games,’’ he said. ‘‘Everything else doesn’t matter. It’s the most important thing. That’s why they brought me here — to help the offense, to help win games. That’s why they brought all of us here.’’
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