Since receiving his playbook last Tuesday when the offseason program kicked off, new Bears receiver Allen Robinson II has focused on digesting the offense.
“It’s been fun,” Robinson said Monday. “It’s exciting to be in a position now to where you’re learning a new offense. That really keeps you sharp and keeps you busy on a regular basis, not just here but also when you leave the facility as well.”
Robinson, 24, signed with the Bears March 14 after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Jaguars, catching 202 passes for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games.
Robinson was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2015, recording 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He followed with 73 catches for 883 yards and six TDs in 2016 but missed 15 of 16 games last year after tearing his ACL in Jacksonville’s season opener.
At his introductory news conference, Robinson revealed that he signed with the Bears in part because he felt the offense was a good match for his skill set. The Penn State product is even more convinced that that’s the case after spending a week studying his playbook and working with his new teammates and coaches.
“I think I fit really well,” Robinson said. “It’s a very receiver-friendly offense. It has a lot of usages of all the different receivers. For me, that was a big part of it. Playing in a West Coast system before, a lot of it is familiar.”
Robinson has especially enjoyed working with promising second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Their lockers are side-by-side at Halas Hall and they’re both starting from the very beginning in terms of being taught the new offense.
“It’s been exciting,” Robinson said. “We both have been born into this on the same page as far as learning a new system. I think that’s special in itself because we can just talk about certain things as we go. He’s a young guy and I think that’s really good as well. For me being 24 years old, we both kind of have that eager energy as far as coming into this situation and learning the system.”
During the first two weeks of the offseason program, activities are limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehab, with only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field with players. Helmets are prohibited, and footballs are permitted on the field only for quarterbacks throwing to receivers provided they are not covered by other players.
Beginning next week and continuing for three weeks, all coaches are allowed on the field. Workouts may include individual player instruction and drills, but helmets and drills pitting the offense against the defense are prohibited.
Robinson senses excitement throughout Halas Hall among teammates and doesn’t see why the Bears can’t repeat what the Jaguars accomplished last season. After finishing in last place in the AFC South with a 3-13 record in 2016, Jacksonville rebounded to win the division in 2017 with a surprising 10-6 mark.
“It’s a great vibe for me here,” Robinson said. “I’ve been in a situation where I saw a team go from 3-13 to 10-6, so I’ve been in that position before. In this league, you’re not that far away. The margin of error in this league is so small.”