Though he has been very productive in an NFL offense that hasn’t exactly set the world on fire by any means, that’s apparently not what Bears fans want. They are led to beleive one Pro Bowl invite should garner many more.
On a middling Jacksonville team in his second year in the league, Robinson received his only Pro bowl invite as the NFL’s receiving yardage leader in 2015. Yes, he benefitted from some deep ball luck bumping up his yards, but he had enough speed before a torn ACL to make it happen anyway.
That knee injury may have taken away a dash of speed, but it has made his tremendous route running even more vital. Internet statheads will argue over that lack of separation on routes, but somehow Robinson separated enough to finish the 2020 season 6th in the NFL in catches and 9th in yards.
Lacking though were touchdowns and explosive big plays. Frankly, there are only so many Tyrke Hills and Stefon Diggs type of receivers to go around. Some of his degree of difficulty catches seemed to be looked at with a yawn by observers, who seemingly just waited for him to bobble a pass that would lead to a turnover, which happened unfortunately a couple times early in the 2020 season.
As well, there can be a debate as whether Robinson was used correctly or not during his current tenure in Chicago, and the numbers say yes, but for some the eye test says no. The chicken and the egg scenario over whether it’s Head Coach Matt Nagy’s fault, or the underwhelming quarterback play is at fault (hint: it’s probably both), continues to this day.
Everyone wants Robinson, or any other to be Randy Moss, or to a lesser extent Reggie Wayne, or any other X receiver that usually work in isolation. They want 1500 yards, 15 touchdowns, and a quiet Twitter handle. Perhaps it’s the last part that has drawn their ire. We like to find the negative in everything with athletes. If they haven’t made 10 Pro Bowls or hit 50 home runs a year, just find another guy!
Frankly, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. For Bears fans, the question remains of who do you see taking that spot in a predictable low end offense that will produce the same? Darnell Mooney was a great surprise, but relying on rookie receivers to walk in as Pro Bowlers is very farfetched.
The last thing a Bears fan needs to see is Robinson go to a functional offensive system and produce Pro Bowl numbers. Talent wise, his ceiling would be sneaking onto a Pro Bowl roster. So what exactly is wrong with a good number one receiver? There are a dozen teams clamoring for his services, so he must be doing something right? Can Bears fans not look a gift horse in the mouth? We will find out.