Coaches see Robertson's development

Posted Oct 4, 2012

First-year linebacker Craig Robertson has shown development since joining the team as a free agent.

First-year Cleveland Browns linebacker Craig Robertson spent part of the 2011 season on the team’s practice squad and later signed with the club on Jan. 3, 2012. Since that time, he has focused his efforts on learning the intricacies of the team’s 4-3 defensive front and adjusting to the speed of the game at the NFL level.

Through the first quarter of the 2012 season, Robertson registered 23 total tackles (including 16 solo stops), collected two interceptions, and broken up three passes. He is among the team leaders in each category and is tied with defensive captain and middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson with a Browns-best two interceptions.

“He’s embraced the whole thing from training camp on,” Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said Thursday. “He is very serious about working to make this football team and then, he was very excited about making it, which is always great to see. He wants to stay and wants to be a big-time player in the league.”

When breaking down Robertson’s strengths as a player, Jauron quickly pointed out the “unique abilities” that have allowed him to succeed on the game’s highest level.

“He’s got toughness; he’s got quickness,” Jauron said. “He can run. He’s compact. He can deliver a blow. Week-by-week, he’s gaining more experience and I really can’t say enough about him. The attitude is hugely important for all of us in whatever we do. In this game, it is for sure and he’s got a really good attitude.”

Robertson set a career high with eight total tackles in the 17-16, season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9. He also intercepted Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on a second-and-21 play from Cleveland’s 49-yard line in the first quarter.

Two weeks later, Robertson matched those eight tackles and collected a career-best seven solo stops against the Buffalo Bills. In last Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, Robertson became the first player to intercept quarterback Joe Flacco in the red zone since Dec. of 2009.

“He’s got skill and ability,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s got instincts and I think that’s a starting point. He kind of understands how to play his position and he works extremely hard with a bunch of coaches that are smart and I think that helps him have success.

“He’s established himself in coverage with his interceptions, but he does a good job against the run as well.”

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