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The opportunity to work

Posted May 31, 2012

WR Brian Robiskie fine with spending 2012 offseason under the radar

Brian Robiskie likes where he is now.

When he says that, he doesn’t just mean Jacksonville, although Robiskie said he likes a lot about an organization that has changed fairly dramatically since he arrived six months ago.

He doesn’t even just mean his spot in the Jaguars’ wide receiver rotation, which is something he said he knows will be determined in the coming weeks and months.

Robiskie said what he likes is where he is in the conversation when people discuss the rotation. Because of the circumstances of his arrival, when fans and observers discuss the Jaguars’ receivers, you hardly ever hear his name – that being true even though the Jaguars like him and even though as a former second-round draft choice he’s certainly worthy of discussion.

Whatever radar there is on the Jaguars’ receivers, Robiskie is decidedly under it.

And that’s just where he wants to be.

“Obviously, for me, I don’t pay attention to too much of it,” Robiskie said recently during organized team activities, which are scheduled to continue through Friday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field.

“My whole mindset since I got down to Jacksonville is just to work.”

Getting a chance to do that in Jacksonville? That took longer than he ever imagined.

That’s also what made the early part of his time in Jacksonville so difficult, and it’s why he likes where he is now.

Robiskie, a second-round selection by Cleveland in the 2009 NFL Draft, signed with the Jaguars off waivers from the Browns in early November. He caught 39 passes for 441 yards and three touchdowns with Cleveland, but from the time he arrived, the Jaguars have believed he might be able to help what last season was a struggling wide receivers corps.

Instead, he sustained a hamstring injury in practice shortly after arriving, and rather than a quick second chance, he was placed on injured reserve.

“I just had to take my time, get healthy and make sure this would be the year I’d contribute,” he said. “It was something I’d never had to deal with. They always say through football, you’re going to have adversity and obstacles, and that’s exactly what it was.

“It was a chance to come down and deal with something I’d never faced before. I feel like I did a good job getting healthy and making sure I was right to come back for this year, which is right now.”

Now that he is healthy, he at first glance would seem to face a double obstacle.  Not only did he not get a chance to play last season, but he has to start over with a new coaching staff.

Robiskie said he sees it differently.

“I don’t think you can ever go into an off-season saying, ‘I’ve done what I can do,’’’ Robiskie said. “Regardless of whether or not I was hurt, whatever took place last year it’s, ‘Let me see what you can do this year.’’’

Each off-season, Robiskie said, essentially is a new start.

“Especially when you’ve got new coaches coming in,” he said, “you want to hit that reset button. You’re going to have guys who coaches know what they can do. For the rest of us, there’s going to be a time to go on the field in that new year and do what they do.

“Coaches might have an idea about you, but you have to make the progress and keep working.”

Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey worked with Robiskie’s father, Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie, in Atlanta the past four seasons, and considered Terry as the Jaguars’ receivers coach. He and Jerry Sullivan were Mularkey’s top two choices, and when the Falcons declined to allow Robiskie to interview, Mularkey hired Sullivan.

Mularkey said Brian Robiskie has worked inside and outside during OTAs, and has been “very productive.”

“We’ve moved him around a lot,” Mularkey said. “He’s making some plays out there. I don’t see anything from the previous injury, which was a substantial injury with that pull. I think he’s been really productive. He’s very steady, very consistent.

“You know what you’re going to get out of Brian every time he comes on the field.”

That’s something Robiskie likes to hear, because that’s a focus as he prepares for his fourth NFL season. He said despite struggling at times in Cleveland, he never lost confidence. He believes he can be productive in the NFL without changing his style, and that his task is doing what he is capable of doing every day.

“I know what works,” he said. “I know what I have to do. I have to be consistent. I think this year is going to be a big year because I’m going to be consistent. That’s the word I’ve been telling myself day in and day out: ‘You can be good, but can you be consistent?’ For me, that’s something I’m going to work on every single day.”

As Robiskie sees it, the opportunity to do that in Jacksonville is perfect. While he arrived in Jacksonville during a tumultuous season, he said he saw enough to see a team with potential – and one interested in doing things the right way. He said that’s what Mularkey and the new offensive staff is about, and the newness of that staff?

He said that’s perfect for a guy trying to prove himself.

“They’re putting everybody on that starting line, saying, ‘Let’s see what you can do,’’’ he said.

And really, Robiskie said, where else would he want to be?

“For me, we’re in OTAs and we have a long offseason to go, but I’m healthy and I’m getting the opportunity to work,” he said. “For me, it’s exciting to get back on the field and get back to what I love doing.”

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