Robertson makes early impression

Posted Sep 29, 2012

Browns linebacker Craig Robertson has made an impression on the coaches with his play through the first quarter of the 2012 regular season.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Craig Robertson is living his dream.

The undrafted free agent from the University of North Texas spent time on the Browns’ practice squad last season and made the team out of training camp this August. Being able to play professional football and contributing both on special teams and defense was something Robertson thought about “in my dreams.”

“A lot of people back home are like, ‘Man, you’re in the NFL now,’” Robertson said. “It’s still unreal at times. I still think of it as a dream come true and I cherish every day.”

Robertson collected his second interception of the season in the first half of last Thursday’s 23-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco took the snap on second-and-three from Cleveland’s 10-yard line and threw toward veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin. However, Robertson dropped back into coverage and registered his second interception of the season.

Robertson’s interception of Flacco was the first in the red zone for the Ravens’ signal-caller since Dec. 7, 2009 at the Green Bay Packers. He had not thrown a red zone interception in 125 consecutive pass attempts.

“We had a great call called. I did my job and the ball came right to me,” Robertson said. “I saw Jones came in on a slant, so I knew something was coming on the outside. The ball was thrown and a guy told me the other day that Flacco hasn’t thrown a red zone interception in three years, so it’s kind of cool to say I picked him off in the red zone, but that’s kind of how it played out.”

The interception came at a critical time for the Browns.

The Browns had already punted the football twice to the Ravens and forced Baltimore to return two punts. On Sam Koch’s 54-yarder, two-time Pro Bowl returner Joshua Cribbs returned the ball 14 yards before he was hit by Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and lost possession. Fellow linebacker Jameel McClain recovered the ball at the Cleveland 40-yard line.

“The guy’s finding a way to make a play,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said of Robertson. “Cribbs gets knocked around, we lose the ball, they drive down and are getting ready to score and we pick them off. It’s a big turnaround and it’s a big play. It’s a credit to him because that’s not the first time he’s done that.”

Earlier in the year, Robertson intercepted Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in the first quarter of the 2012 regular-season opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The Eagles were backed up into a second-and-21 situation because of a holding penalty on offensive lineman King Dunlap. As Vick took the ensuing snap from Cleveland’s 49-yard line, he rolled out to his left and threw across his body for tight end Brent Celek in the middle of the field.

Robertson dropped into coverage and registered the turnover. Robertson said he “likes” the responsibility of covering the tight end.

“Covering the tight ends, that helps a lot in the nickel package,” Robertson said. “It’s just trying to focus in and hone in on my job. It’s a challenge. Coach always says, ‘Hey, they’ve got a tough tight end, focus in on him.’ It’s like he’s telling me, ‘Hey, you go cover the tight end and limit him to whatever you need to, to get your job done. I like the challenge.”

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