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Rams' Robinson to get first start at left tackle against San Francisco

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ST. LOUIS — Drafted No. 2 overall as a left tackle by St. Louis, Greg Robinson will make his first start in his natural position in Sunday's game at San Francisco.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher believes his rookie is ready.

"He's done fine," Fisher said Friday after practice. "He understands what we're doing. He's had a revolving door there next to him at guard but that will settle down. ... We've got all the confidence in the world in Greg. He's just going to continue to get better and better."

The 6-foot-5, 332-pound Robinson just made his first start of the season in the Rams' fifth game, which was against San Francisco. He played left guard in that game against the 49ers. In last week's 34-7 loss to the Chiefs, veteran left tackle Jake Long tore the same ACL he did in 2013 and he is out.

That injury forced Robinson to slide over to play tackle. Robinson knows the situation made the position switch necessary.

He did not want to become the starting tackle because of an injury.

"Well, I hurt for Jake. That's tough," Robinson said. "Really it's something that I have to do because the coaches asked me to move there. But for the most part I told him (Jake Long) I love him and this and hopefully that he can help me out and be a set of eyes for me and Coach Bou (Paul Boudreau) asked him also, but really the most important thing is just try my best to learn as much as possible from those guys around me and I feel I have been."

In that regard, fellow lineman Rodger Saffold noted Robinson has had a good week.

"He's done real good," Saffold said. "He's really talented. He's got good feet. He slides well. He understands the offense. I think he's going to do real well."

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer agreed.

PHOTO: St. Louis Rams guard Rodger Saffold (76), right, congratulates tight end Lance Kendricks (88) who scored a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
St. Louis Rams guard Rodger Saffold (76), right, congratulates tight end Lance Kendricks (88) who scored a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Getting all the practice repetitions this week has benefited Robinson, Schottenheimer said.

"Well I think it certainly helps, just being out there working on your pass sets, more than anything fundamentally. System wise, he's done an amazing job with that," Schottenheimer said. "He's light-years ahead of where he was even probably a month ago with the system. I think that comes from playing."

Robinson moved to tackle when Long got hurt in the third quarter. Long was blocking Chiefs defensive tackle Vance Walker when he hurt his knee.

"I was kind of rusty, but that's what this week of practice is for, just to build up and get used to it again, but it won't take long," said Robinson. "The guys are a little faster. I feel like I've seen that this past week when we played K.C. I just was fighting and trying not to give up any sacks, because I knew I was going to be a little rusty. I didn't have any reps at tackle. But I worked on it a little today, just focusing on my set a little more, angles."

Left tackle is his natural position. He is looking forward to seeing what he can do.

The Rams (2-5) have to move on, tight tackle Joe Barksdale said.

"The season's not going to stop," he said. "Other teams aren't going to take it easy on you because you're going through a little adversity, so there's no reason to even sit and think about it. You've just got to keep going."

NOTES: The Rams began practice Friday outside at Rams Park but moved inside after going through their walk-through. With temperatures in the mid-40s and winds gusting up to 30 miles an hour, Fisher made the switch. "It was a little windy, "Fisher said. "We needed to throw, we needed to catch so we came in."


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