While this classic phrase is applicable to all sports, in the ever-evolving offensive minded, pass-friendly league that is the NFL, if youre an elite wide receiver, Speed also Pays.
Or can get you paid. And if you wanna be at the top of your position as a deep threat, tight end, or slot receiver, you may need to give professional trainer and coach David Robinson a ring.
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724 Likes, 7 Comments – David Robinson (@d.robalwaysopen) on Instagram: “NFL 2018 OFFSEASON On Deck Coming Soon!! WRs Train Like A Pro” @emmanuelsanders @geronimoallison_8…”
Though he shares the same name with the Admiral of San Antonio, the Dallas based trainer is one of the premier coaches who deals in the art of speed at his facility and his client roster reflects that.
We caught up with Robinson a few weeks before the 2018 NFL draft to discuss this journey, the qualities that make for an elite WR, and what throwback players would immediately thrive in the current offensive friendly NFL of today.
The Shadow League: Youve worked with some of the more elite wide-receivers and skilled positioned players over the past 20 years. What are the tools that make an elite wide-receiver that you see before you actually work with them?
David Robinson: What makes a wide-receiver elite is ball skills and hand-eye coordination. They also have to be able to bend well. If you can find a receiver with really good ball skills, hand-eye-coordination and can bend along with the work ethic you have someone special. Not a lot of wide receivers like to put in extra time on the field to work on their game. They like the game action. The touchdowns and what the game comes with.
TSL: So Im curious since youve kind of typed-casted the personality of the wide receiver. Youve worked with Jordan Reed, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. These are receivers, aside from what they do with their hands, make the most of what they do after the catch. I believe that comes from grit. Of all the people youve worked with, who immediately comes to mind that has that drive?
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256 Likes, 6 Comments – David Robinson (@d.robalwaysopen) on Instagram: “DALLAS,TX THIS SUNDAY GET READY APRIL 15 th Come Join me, @emmanuelsanders @ClayMackSkills for our…”
DR: You can push a kid and players but at the end of the day that has to be found in them. It has to be apart of them. Thats something you really cant coach. But some of the younger wide receivers that Im currently working with who have that type of work ethic are Laquon Treadwell, Rashard Higgins, but theres plenty more. Those guys also have good character and are very humble.
TSL: Im an Eagles fan. Its been a crazy season but it was crazier knowing that Brian Dawkins was going into the Hall, within the same year of beating Brady and the Patriots. When Dawkins was running with the Eagles in their prime, they had T.O. Is the quintessential diva mentality necessary to be an elite wide receiver?
DR: For an elite wide-receiver, you have to have a certain swagger about yourself. You have to almost be arrogant and cocky but have that team-player mentality as well. You do want that receiver who is confident and cocky, that demands the football. You may have guys with different characteristics but you do want that. Like Larry Fitzgerald, hes quiet but a savage on the field.
TSL: Considering your business and in a league thats becoming more and more pass-friendly, what are some of the routes and plays that are trending?
DR: Im seeing a lot of deep over, underneath and option routes that are being used where wide-receivers run up to the defender and have the option to break left or right. Also a lot of running backs/wide receivers that play running backs slipping around to mix-match with the defender. A lot more angle routes as well.
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123 Likes, 5 Comments – David Robinson (@d.robalwaysopen) on Instagram: “@emmanuelsanders ES10 Football Camp fueling the Mind as well as the body!!! Dropping jewels …”
TSL: While he may have the skill sets to be an elite wide receiver, do you find it disrespectful that in 2018 there are still people trying to convert someone like Lamar Jackson from his natural position of Quarterback?
DR: I dont find it disrespectful. Not many quarterbacks have that speed and can move to that position like he can. Its a compliment, he doesnt have his own agent and he could be a possible top quarterback. Hes athletic like Antonio Brown. Its scary.
TSL: Speaking of fear, if you were to create the ultimate wide-receiver based on all the people youve trained. What 5 characteristics would this Frankenstein wide-receiver have?
DR: As far as ball skills I would want my wide receiver to have Marvin Harrisons type of hands. Height wise would be Randy Moss. Heart-wise would be Steve Smith, Panthers Steve Smith. Speed wise they would have to be fast like Rocket Ismail of Notre Dame and route running wise would be Jerry Rice.
TSL: Who was the athlete growing up that made you want to excel in the wide receiver position?
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364 Likes, 2 Comments – David Robinson (@d.robalwaysopen) on Instagram: “Jakeem Grant @miamidolphins WR year 3 on deck GO TIME! “We been at this grind since you were in HS,…”
DR: Growing up I was really big on Michael Irvin, Cris Carter, Marvin Harrison, and Antonio Freeman. I also looked up to Dante Hall.
TSL: Aside from Dante Hall, what are some wide-receivers or tight-ends that may have been your favorite growing up, but would have definitely dominated in this era?
DR: Thats a good question. A guy that would dominate this era would be Hines Ward. For tight-ends I would go with, Tony Gonzalez.
TSL: I think someone like Kellen Winslow Jr. wouldve been disgusting in this era because of his body type.
DR: Youre right he wouldve been. I forgot to mention Santana Moss.
TSL: Oh yeah, he wouldve been filthy too. Especially what he was doing laterally.