Steelers may not have room for Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson was a name that I, and a lot of Steelers fans, were high on this offseason. Rightfully so, as he looked the part in training camp last year and flashed in limited work as a rookie on defense. That said, things haven't gone as planned for the second-year linebacker.
The linebacker room was completely overturned this offseason as well. The only remaining member of the group from last year is Robinson. While the team didn’t bring in any major names, the only player locked into a significant role is Cole Holcomb. Elandon Roberts is, on paper, the other starter, but there was good reason to believe that Robinson would be in competition for the other spot.
Then Teryl Austin shot down the possibility of Robinson starting. He made it pretty clear that Robinson isn’t the plan for this season, and something would either have to go horribly wrong for him to see the field, or he would have to completely surpass expectations during camp. This was confirmed with the addition of veteran Nick Kwiatkowski, who can serve as a backup and special teams ace.
I think the fanbase, myself included, is higher on Robinson than the team is. He is now the fourth option on the depth chart, and a name like Tanner Muse is a far better special teams fit behind him. The Steelers usually like to have a core special teams linebacker around (see Allen, Marcus), so Robinson could conceivably be the fifth man on the depth chart.
I’m assuming nine total bodies are kept between edge rusher and linebacker. If that is the case, Robinson could very well be battling with the field (like Roche above) for that final spot. While I think he is on the inside looking out, I can’t lock him into a spot anymore. At the bare minimum, a quiet season from the former seventh-round pick would no longer shock me.