Ninjames' Note: I wanted to get something up at this point but I didn't have time to put together a player profile--so you guys get this, and I think Smileyman has something going up in the afternoon. Will have more 49ers player profiles in the coming days.
So recently, Kevin Lynch of the Chronicle posted a piece on Michael Robinson, called "The Robinson Debate" that didn't turn out to be much of a debate at all. Most folks here are familiar with my stance on Robinson, and I'm familiar with many of you and your stance. I figured it would be good to get some more discussion on the matter though. There is only one rule in this Robinson debate though--do not, under any circumstance, factor in the fact that he'll take up a running back roster spot. We proceed with the assumption that Robinson would be the 4th running back and that the team is happy with that.
Now, Lynch was of the opinion that Robinson should also get more snaps on offense; I'm not about to make such a statement though. Do I think he has the physical tools to play on offense? Yeah, I do. I also think he is legitimately a hard back to bring down, but there's just no room for him. With the talent the 49ers field on offense, there's not room for a Robinson more than once or twice a game. Make the jump for the rest..
Robinson's core value comes on special teams. One thing folks need to remember is Robinson draws double coverage on these units, teams identify him as the captain--Robinson is a factor when special teams coordinators draw up their gameplan against the 49ers. Up until the end of last season, Marcus Hudson was also a player they gameplanned before, and before his injury, Jeff Ulbrich. That's the three players teams looked at each time they ran through their coverage gameplan. Robinson is also a huge leader in the locker room, takes special interest in tutoring the younger guys in there and is an all around good guy to have around for morale.
Now what needs to be understood about my argument is that I'm not really a huge fan of Robinson himself, I'm just someone who holds much value to a special teams coverage unit. If we hadn't lost both of our other special teamers in Hudson and Ulbrich, I'd be OK with the team letting go of Robinson. You see fans of the league complain about special teams coverage. Look at the Steelers, sure they've been successful, but they'd be even more successful if their ST wasn't abysmal.
Robinson is the 49ers ST captain. He's their guy. You don't see fans of teams complaining about coverage units when their team has 'their guy.' Perhaps the most important part of this argument though, is that the team will likely have room to include Robinson on the roster. They seem in a position to have enough space open for the 53 to carry a core special teamer who doesn't hold much value on offense like Robinson.
It will be interesting to see if the team gets rid of him, I can't imagine there being anyone else who is 'on the bubble' for the team that is a better option, but like I said before--if the team DOES get rid of him, I trust their judgement and I won't complain too much.