Greg Olson can see a difference in Allen Robinson.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ third-year receiver has become a better route runner, especially on short and intermediate routes. He’s crisper in his cuts and is getting a larger amount of separation from defensive backs.
But Olson also has noticed something else about Robinson: He’s playing with more of an edge than he did in his breakout season in 2015.
"Whether it is an edge or confidence or something to prove, he is playing angry," said Olson, who is entering his second season as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator. "We have talked to him as a big receiver you need to play big and play that way. I think confidence is a big part of it."
It would be hard for Robinson not to be confident after catching 80 passes for 1,400 yards and a franchise-record 14 touchdowns and making the Pro Bowl last season. He wasn’t satisfied, though, and spent the offseason working on becoming a better route runner. There’s an argument that the Jaguars’ passing game is bound to regress after the team posted a 35-to-5 pass-to-rush TD ratio and invested significant cap space and draft capital on the defensive side of the ball. But Robinson is an emerging star and he should see plenty of work, regardless of gameflow. Plus, if Blake Bortles’ takes another step forward in his third year, the increased efficiency of the passing game could offset any potential drop in Robinson’s targets.