From Antonio Brown to Jordan Reed, the NFL’s best pass-catchers consistently turn to one man to help them take their game to the next level.
Former Oklahoma University Wide Receiver David Robinson runs D-Rob Professional NFL Skills Coach, which works with wide receivers and tight ends to improve their technique and pass-catching skills. Coach Rob, as he’s affectionately called, has spent time this offseason working with Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler and newly-acquired tight end Rico Gathers.
Coach Rob recently joined CowboysCast to share his expert opinion on the Cowboys’ receiving corps.
On Brice Butler’s improvement this offseason:
“Brice is looking real fluid and explosive in and out of his route running. He’s improved tremendously on his footwork and his balance coming in and out of his cuts. The main thing we’ve been focusing on with Brice is staying fast and explosive when he gets tired. He has a tendency toward the tail end of practice to kind of slack off. So we’ve been working a lot on his conditioning and that really has helped him a lot.”
On Butler’s potential as a #2 wide receiver:
“The main thing with Brice is just opportunity. He’s capable. His short-area quickness for his size, for him to be big and tall and can get in and out of his breaks like he’s somebody that’s 6’1 is what makes him very valuable. I believe in his ability.”
On Rico Gathers’ skill set:
“He has great ball skills. He has very soft hands. He catches the ball very well. Rico just needs to polish up his arm mechanics and his footwork. We’re working with more of his route running. Getting him used to selling everything vertical, keeping his pad level down, getting him running his arms in and out of his breaks at the top of his routes, so just getting him comfortable with bending and sinking his hips. Athletic-wise he’s just as athletic as Jordan Reed.”
On how Dez Bryant’s foot injury impacted his ability in 2015:
“That’s really the main reason why they’re paying (Dez) all that money. His ability to leap off his feet and make those acrobatic catches. When you break your foot, it’s tough to get that muscle memory back and get it comfortable. You don’t have any explosion coming in and out of your breaks. Running your routes you have to kind of put all the weight on the other foot because you’re not comfortable using the foot that was broken. As a receiver, that messes with you mentally knowing that you’re not 100 percent on one leg and can’t get out of a break normally that you’re used to getting out of faster.”
On Terrance Williams’ body-catching:
“Being a body-catcher is not bad through traffic, let’s clear that up. So when he’s running across the middle, or slant routes on third and short, those are not bad catches to catch with your body. What he can do to break habits from body-catching is just getting repetitions after practice. Just sitting on the ground, having somebody toss the ball at him, and catching the ball away from his body; doing the repetitive movement so he can create that muscle memory. I definitely wouldn’t say he’s afraid of the ball. I would say that he’s not fully confident in his hands catching it away from his body, so in order for him to make sure that he catches the ball he cradles it with his body.”
You can listen to the complete interview with David Robinson below: