SEATTLE — On Dominique Robinson’s first and only tackle in the Week 1 preseason victory over the Chiefs, he registered a sack.
It was a nice way to start his career in the NFL.
The film room the next day told a different story, though, for the fifth-round draft pick out of Miami University (OH). Chartered down next to Robinson’s name was a word and a number: loafs (5).
That needed to change for the Week 2 preseason game against the Seahawks.
“Honestly my goal for this game was to get no loafs,” Robinson said. “We are a fast-paced defense and they want hustle on every play and I had five last week. I ain’t like that, so I’m trying to get it lower than that. Hopefully I don’t got none this week.”
Like last time, Robinson will have to wait until the team watches the film to see if he improved on that mark. Why this means so much to Robinson is simple.
“Personally, I’m a big hustle guy,” Robinson said. “Coaches are doing their job for everybody. I felt like that it’s kind of like disrespect. So I had to make sure this week that I’m lower than five. Hopefully I’m lower than five. Hopefully I don’t got none.”
Since Bears coach Matt Eberflus has implemented his “H.I.T.S” philosophy, it’s easy to see how every player on the roster has felt the impact of the Bears’ new culture. Players, whether they’re a rookie like Robinson or a six-year veteran like Al-Quadin Muhammad, they don’t want to be written down with a loaf, ultimately failing to meet the standard set by the coaching staff.
In the 27-11 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, running back Travis Homer broke three tackles and got loose against the Bears’ defense early in the second quarter. Homer got to the right edge using his 4.48 40-yard dash speed, but as Homer was about to break away, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Muhammad tracked him down and forced the running back out of bounds.
This is Week 2 in the preseason, but that’s what happens when you have been around the “H.I.T.S” philosophy for the last four years like Muhammad has. And if Robinson continues to pride himself as being a “hustle guy,” then he could be on a similar trajectory himself.
Five days after the first preseason game, Robinson showed some improvement on the stat sheet. Against the Seahawks, he finished with two total tackles and two quarterback hits.
“The speed of the game kind of slowed down for me, so I was able to, you know, take things in a little faster and play a little faster,” Robinson said. “It felt good.”
And Robinson will feel even better if his name doesn’t appear with any loafs next to it once the coaches get to the tape.