Last season, Christopher Robinson made a scintillating debut in his first year for Morgan State football, recording 8½ sacks and 13½ tackles for loss – both of which led the team.
This fall has been an entirely different story for the Baltimore native and Dunbar graduate. Through five games, he has yet to post a sack and has made only 2½ tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
But seeing as how the Bears (0-5) are still seeking their first win of the season, the sack numbers can wait, Robinson says.
“I’m not really worrying about sacks,” he said after Morgan State dropped a 27-21 decision to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Norfolk State on Saturday. “I’m really worrying about victories.”
One possible factor for the decline in sacks for Robinson is that the junior has shifted from defensive end to outside linebacker. He still rushes opposing quarterbacks, but he also has to be able to drop back into pass coverage to hawk tight ends and running backs.
“He’s not as close to the ball as he was last year,” coach Donald Hill-Eley said Tuesday morning during a conference call arranged by the MEAC. “Last year, we ran a heavy [4-3] scheme. His job was mainly to contain and rush the quarterback every down. Chris is now playing outside backer when we went to our [3-4] front. He’s either covering guys up in space or anchoring the area from time to time. He’s occasionally been in positions where he’s been able to rush. But because of depth and things of that nature and because of his athleticism, we were able to move him around and can put him at the outside backer position.”
Robinson refused to blame the position switch, saying, “Football is not an easy game. It’s a challenge, but the coaches are preparing us pretty well. So I’m just going to keep on working.”
Hill-Eley said there has been some consideration to moving Robinson back to defensive end.
“We have put him at defensive end, and we have moved him around a couple times to get those,” he said. “But basically what the scheme calls for is him rushing occasionally and dropping as well.”
Robinson said he has not noticed if opposing offenses are keying on him more than his 10 teammates on defense. And even if they are, Robinson said that is not his concern.
“I just try to go out there and do what I’ve been coached to do,” he said. “I really don’t worry about what the offense is doing. Just making sure that I come with my one-eleventh.”