Patrick Robinson didn’t feel right about how he was playing earlier in the season.
He was afraid to put a bad play on film. This, in itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but he was allowing it to change his approach to the game. He was being too cautious, which is never a good thing.
It was a confidence issue. But the good news is that he now believes he’s on the other side of it.
“I’m just trying to do my job, and that’s it,” Robinson said. “If I get beat, oh, well. On to the next play.”
That approach has suited Robinson well. Over the past three weeks, he’s been targeted 11 times and given up four receptions for 37 yards with three passes defensed, according to Pro Football Focus.
“His grades have been good, solid. He’s got good ball production,” coach Sean Payton said. “You can just see his confidence with regards of what we’re doing.”
Robinson’s increased confidence has come from his preparation. He’s spent extra time studying in recent weeks, and has spent time working with defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff.
The work has paid off. After being benched earlier this season, Robinson has seen his snaps steadily increase each week and could continue to climb the depth chart if he continues to play well.
“Obviously, Patrick has tons of ability. It’s getting the game to slow a little for him,” defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “Obviously, his tools will take over from there. You’ve seen him play much better and really well lately.”
Lewis gearing up
Keenan Lewis almost took it as an insult.
The knee injury he suffered two weeks ago limited him to 11 snaps during last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but he made it clear he does not intend to miss this week’s game after being limited in practices.
So, when asked if he planned on playing this week, Lewis kept his answer short.
“Monday Night Football,” he said.
Is that it?
“I’ll be there,” Lewis, who is listed as probable, said.
Lewis said he is gearing up to face Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith, who joined the Ravens this offseason after spending the previous 13 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where he served as thorn in New Orleans’ side.
Lewis said he considers Smith to be one of the best receivers in the NFL and added the 35-year-old is playing like he’s a decade younger. What Lewis cannot figure out, however, is why Smith, who has 49 catches for 728 yards and four touchdowns, was released by the Panthers.
“You have a lot of respect for that guy. He’s one of the best in the league physically. He’s got it all,” Lewis said. “Got to get ready to go.
“Should have definitely kept him in Carolina. That’s been their guy for years. You don’t get rid of a guy like that.”
The Saints ruled out running back Khiry Robinson (forearm) and linebacker Kyle Knox (hand) for Monday’s game against the Ravens.
Robinson has missed the past three games. This will be the eighth game for which Knox is sidelined.
Wide receiver Robert Meachem (ankle) is questionable after being limited all week.
Running back Pierre Thomas (rib/shoulder), who has been out the past four games, Travaris Cadet (hamstring), linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle), Lewis (knee), tackle Zach Strief (chest) and running back Mark Ingram (shoulder) are probable.
Baltimore ruled out wide receiver Michael Campanaro (thigh) and guard Jah Reid (hand). Tight end Owen Daniels (not injury related), linebacker Daryl Smith (not injury related), fullback Kyle Jusczyk (foot), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (not injury related), linebacker Terrell Suggs (not injury related) and guard Marshal Yanda (knee) are probable.