Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Monday, March 8, 2010
Checking in with Rams' new DT

By Mike Sando

New Rams defensive tackle Fred Robbins just finished a conference call with reporters covering the Rams.

Robbins
Robbins
He definitely sounds the part.

Robbins' baritone voice should hold up well against the run.

As for what the 32-year-old defensive tackle has left after 10 NFL seasons, the last six with the Giants? That could be tougher to say. He started 12 games last season and played in all 16, taking about half the snaps for an inconsistent defense.

Mike Garafalo of the Newark Star-Ledger summed up Robbins' time with the Giants this way:
They’ve been six up-and-down years for Robbins, who arrived as a starter in Tom Coughlin’s first year as Giants coach, was then demoted to a backup role because of the team’s concerns over his inconsistent effort, regained his spot with the first team, played a key role in the run to Super Bowl XLII, showed top form through the first half of the 2008 season, struggled through hand, shoulder and knee injuries the past 15 months, and was finally relegated to backup duty once again after the Thanksgiving loss to the Broncos this season.

The Rams may need a veteran presence on their defensive line. Leonard Little is reportedly visiting the Saints in free agency. The Rams could draft a defensive tackle first overall, putting Robbins in the mentor's role, or they could select a quarterback, relying more heavily on Robbins for his contributions on the field.

I was late to the conference call and didn't get a chance to ask Robbins about the "inconsistent effort" reference in relation to his first year with the Giants. It could be a non-issue given how much time has passed, and given that Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo had not yet joined the Giants at that point. Robbins played an important part in the Giants' 2007 Super Bowl season.