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Patrick Robinson Has An Opportunity To Succeed In 2014

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Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson has transitioned from a maligned cornerback to the clear-cut weakest member of the 2014 starting secondary, but he might benefit the most from this offseason.

Chris Graythen

The mention of cornerback Patrick Robinson conjures up images of countless receivers making numerous big plays against him in his three-plus seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He has secured little-to-no confidence within much of Who Dat Nation, and has even been given the moniker PRoblem™ (courtesy of Dan Kelly) for his efforts. To assume Robinson's game will improve dramatically in 2014 is pretty far-fetched, and this is why most Saints fans see cornerback as one of the top positions remaining to be addressed. I am among those that believe that sentiment as well.

Upon further refection though, the Saints may have given Patrick Robinson his best (and last) opportunity to succeed over the last two offseasons. With the 2013 signing of Keenan Lewis and drafting of Kenny Vaccaro coupled with the 2014 signing of Jairus Byrd, the Saints have stacked the deck in the defensive backfield. Robinson now has serious backup, and his game will benefit from the talent supporting him. Look, if the cap space were there, and the talent were available in the free agent pool, I'd be all for going that route, but neither of those are the case. Staying in-house with Robinson at starter way be the most viable option available.

Clearly, the Saints will target a cornerback in the earlier rounds of the draft, not only for starting potential, but for much needed depth at the position. Robinson though, should be expected to be given every opportunity to play his way in or out of the second cornerback spot. Remember, not only did he get injured very early last season, but he played the vast majority of his career alongside Malcolm Jenkins, Roman Harper, and an oft-injured Jabari Greer. That is a vastly different cast than the one beside him going into 2014. Not even that, he will actually get to spend some serious time in Rob Ryan's system as well, a far cry from his failings under Spagnuolo and Williams.

Like it or not, Robinson will be a key in the secondary for the Saints in 2014. Will he be targeted? You better believe it. Will he get burned from time to time? I'd expect that to happen. Will Who Dat Nation be watching him like a hawk all season? Absolutely. But the fantastic athletes in the secondary coupled with Robinson's competent skill-set should make him less of a liability than he has been perceived to be in the past. Will he become an all-pro? No, but he may just turn into a dependable #2 corner. Well, it beats seeing Corey White out there, right?