The Bears’ receiving corps might have been the worst in the NFL last season. That won’t be the case this season if Allen Robinson performs the way he expects to perform.
Robinson had only one reception last season for Jacksonville before tearing an ACL in the season opener. It didn’t matter. The Bears still gave him a three year, $42 million contract in March. That’s because they know what his upside is when he’s healthy.
“When we went in through this free agency process we talked about how he’s a big, physical receiver.,” says Bears head coach Matt Nagy. “He’s a red zone threat. He’s good versus press. He has experience.”
In 2015 Robinson showed all of that when he had 80 receptions for 1400 yards and he led the NFL with 14 receiving touchdowns. In 2016 his stats weren’t quite as good but he still made the Pro Bowl. Then came the injury last season.
“One day you’re catching a pass for 17 yards and then the next day you can’t walk for six weeks,” said Robinson reflecting on the injury at his first press conference in Bourbonnais.
Then came the rehab…not simply physical rehab on the knee, but also mentally getting to the point where he could believe the knee would hold up for him. The long layoff put into perspective how important football is to Robinson.
“You get a much greater appreciation for just going out there, being around your teammates, playing in those big games,” says Robinson.
“He’s rehabbed really hard to get to this point and now he’s here,” said Nagy. “Mentally he’s in a good spot. Physically he’s in a good spot. He’s just got to put it together now.”
Perhaps one day Mitchell Trubisky and Robinson will be known as one of the best passing tandems in the NFL, and that day might not be all that far off. Both of them say they already have a good chemistry going.
“I’ve thrown to some really good receivers in college and a couple at the high school level as well, but I think A-Rob, he can be a really special player for us,” said Trubisky. “It’s all about repetitions for us to continue to build that chemistry.”
“Mitch is a pro,” says Robinson. “There’s a reason why he’s here in the position that he is right now. I want Mitch to just be able to go out there and play free and it’s my job to make his easy.”