There is no question Cleveland Browns linebacker Craig Robertson made quite the appearance last year in his first season in the NFL. Which is why the Browns expect big things from their inside linebacker in 2013. The good news is he has already impressed in the preseason by showing that he is the future of the position. He is paving the way for what other franchises will look for in an interior linebacker going forward.
“He is the new breed of linebackers,” Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said, according to Cleveland.com. “When I came into the league (in 2006), inside linebackers were 6-3, 250 and all downhill. Where the league has (changed) is you have to be able to run with guys like Tavon Austin and speed receivers. Offenses are spreading you out, and linebackers have to be able to cover and also be able to run and hit.”
Jackson is referring to Robertson’s ability to stay with the ridiculously fast Austin and still make a play on the ball. It is simply something that inside linebackers were not able to do a few years ago. However, the game is getting faster and offenses are spreading out more, which means defenses have to adapt.
“It’s just a space game now — it’s basketball,” defensive coordinator Ray Horton said, according to Cleveland.com. “It spreads you out … (Robertson) is gifted, very sharp memory, very smart and he understands football and has the ability to change direction. He is exactly what I want.”
The 25-year-old recorded 93 total tackles, one sack, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 16 games last season. It certainly will not be easy to repeat those numbers but the Browns have faith in their pride and joy on defense.