Q&A: Dunta Robinson projects growth for the secondary

Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson reacts to the cheers of the fans on a defensive series against the Carolina Panthers during 1st half action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson reacts to the cheers of the fans on a defensive series against the Carolina Panthers during 1st half action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

BIRDLAND – Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson has been busy this offseason.

He’s been working out in Athens, Houston and Florida. But he dropped by one of the recent seven-on-seven drills to practice with the Falcons.

He chatted with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and reflected on his first season with the Falcons, the lockout and the continued improvement of the defense.

Q: How has your offseason been going?

A: It’s been going good. Just trying to stay busy and make sure that I stay in shape for whenever we get this call back. So far, so good. No complaints.

Q: How did today’s workout go for you?

A: I felt good. With it being my first day out, I feel better than I thought I would. I just came in, ran around a little bit and was trying to get my football feet back up under me. I’ve been doing a lot of sprints and a lot of straight ahead things. Not a lot of breaking on the ball. So it was just good to come out and do some football things.

Dunta Robinson after his hit on DeSean Jackson last season that led to a fine that was later reduced.

Dunta Robinson after his hit on DeSean Jackson last season that led to a fine that was later reduced.

Q: Where have you been working out at? Athens? Houston?

A: Yeah, kind of all over the place. My family is in Houston so I’ve been working out some in Houston. Some in Athens. I’ve been going down to IMG’s camp (in Boca Raton) for a few days to get some more work in. I’m just trying to stay in the best shape as possible.

Q: Any thoughts on the recent ruling?

A: It’s been very weird. Hopefully, they’ll come to an agreement soon and we’ll be able to get back on the field. We all need it. The owners need it. The players need it. The fans need it.  When need to get this thing situated as quickly as possible. It’s just one of those deals where they haven’t been able to agree yet. But I think we will come to an agreement.

Q: Will the ruling help or will it drag things out more?

A: You never know. You’d like to say it’s part of the process, but you never know. I never expected it to go on this long. Due to the fact that it has, it’s one of those situations where you just have to stay ready. Hopefully, it will be over soon, but you never know.

Q: How is Coy (Wire) doing as the player rep?

A: He’s doing a great job. Every time that something is up, you get an e-mail from Coy letting you know what’s happening and what the routine is from here on out. . . Coy has been instrumental with the way that he’s gotten the

Dunta Robinson was a calming influence in the secondary. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Dunta Robinson was a calming influence in the secondary. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

word out to the players. It’s been very helpful.

Q: Have you put the playoff loss to Green Bay behind you?

A: I’m just looking forward and I know we will continue to improve as a football team. There are really no excuses. We were a fairly young football team last season. I think the experience and the things that we went through allowed us to grow up a lot. With the experience that we gained last year, we just have to make sure that we put it out of the field. Some of the things that we allowed to happen in a negative way we have to make sure they don’t happen this year.

As long as we continue to work hard, I think we’ll be fine and I think we’ll be better in 2011.

Q: Can this defense continue to grow together next season?

A: No doubt about it. With the defense we had, we had a lot of new faces including myself. In the secondary, we had a lot of new starters and we had some rookies come out there and were playing a significant amount of time. Just being together is going to help everybody. In the secondary, we know what everybody can do. We know one another, the good things and the not so good things. We just have to put it all together and say, ‘hey, we are a veteran football team. Let’s go out here and get the job done.’

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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52 comments Add your comment

Greg Mendel

May 24th, 2011
8:51 am

Greg Mendel

May 24th, 2011
8:53 am

If the lockout continues into the fall, maybe the SuperBowl will be held in somebody’s back yard.

Bill self

May 24th, 2011
9:01 am

So was it Dunta’s Cousin’s uncle that took my watch D Led?

BigGA_BirdDawgFan

May 24th, 2011
9:05 am

I hope the owners and players understand that if they let this run on too long they run the risk of losing fans long term. I know many who turned away from baseball in disgust when they let their strike kill a season. That includes my late father who refused to watch “a bunch of spoiled brats” for the remainder of his life.

waynester

May 24th, 2011
9:25 am

DLed
I thought Dunta was excited to bring his family back to Ga….guess not, eh? Looks like Tampa will be in the running for Asomugha and our secondary amounts to Brent Grimes and….meh…. Pay the little guy!

Eugene

May 24th, 2011
9:27 am

Since Mr. Robinson was fined for that allegedly illegal hit, I have wondered whether he backed off a little or changed his gameplay. I have also wondered whether the overall teamplay was infected by the fine.

hamp

May 24th, 2011
9:29 am

I was really hard on D Rob last year because of the contract. but I thought about it. He had not played in a scheme like this before. Alot of zone things going on he got beat alot

D man

May 24th, 2011
9:34 am

END THE LOCKOUT NOW!!! I’m sick of this. The owners and players make a ton of money and you guys need to work this thing out and get back to football… Go Falcons :)

Greg Mendel

May 24th, 2011
9:44 am

I agree that a continuing lockout may cause long-term damage. The amount of money being fought over may not even be there once enough fans decide they’ve had enough. Fans care about who wins on the field, not in a courtroom. Football was a sport before it became a business. The more we see of its business side, the less we care about football as a professional sport. There’s always college football, baseball, soccer and equestrian platform diving.

Flo=Ri-Duh

May 24th, 2011
9:48 am

The GREEDY NFL (players, lawyers & owners included) are about to kill the goose that laid the golden egg (the fans). The same thing is about to ruin college football. Greed breeds corruption that has ruined this country. If they strike in to the season I will do the same thing I did with baseball years ago – lose interest in it, get more yard work done and travel.

Dustin Hoffman

May 24th, 2011
9:54 am

Who cares the SAINTS will win the NFC South anyway!!

G

May 24th, 2011
10:05 am

The lockout won’t hurt football fans. Football is actually exciting. People were excited to have an excuse to not watch the boring sport we call baseball.

AngryFalcon

May 24th, 2011
10:49 am

If we get Nnamdi, will BVG play man?

nash

May 24th, 2011
11:14 am

i don’t think that the NFL respects the fact that Baseball and Basketball both have fallen out of favor with most Americans after labor strikes. The sad thing is basketball is on its way to another one.

FACTS

May 24th, 2011
11:36 am

Sorry Robinson you did not earn your money last season, which is why a lot of the owners are acting like they are…….if Dimitroff would have waited another year & signed Nnamdi A. from OAK then our secondary would be butter….other than the NY Giants there is no team that gets pressure from the entire front line, so another DE won’t change much here…name another team in the NFL that has 2 standout DEs, not even NY Jets or Pittsburgh has 2 good ones, they use exotic blitzes to get it done….Good luck Robinson you can’t play any worse than last year!

Rikus

May 24th, 2011
11:37 am

Grimes was the *most targeted CB in the NFL* last year, with 111 targets. That means somebody is shutting down the other side of the field. Lay off Dunta… he doesn’t make a lot of big plays because he’s not targetted much.

S'paw_99

May 24th, 2011
11:57 am

Rikus is absolutely right, we can’t keep bashing on Dunta, b/c they didn’t throw at him very much. W/ If the guy on the other side is them most targeted CB in the league last yr, that means that you were locking down your side of the field. So it makes sense that the the few times they did throw at Dunta was when he had gotten beat. You’re not gonna make many big plays if they only throw at you a coupla times a game, & that’s when you did get beat.
Lets also not bash Grimes, he may not be the biggest guy, but he had a lot of picks last yr. He plays w/ a lot of heart, if a lot of the most talented guys had his heart, they’d be All-Pro.

Samuel

May 24th, 2011
12:01 pm

I want to see a more improved Dunta Robinson. One who can get at least six interception.

FalconFan

May 24th, 2011
12:17 pm

Robinson basically was our shut down corner last season. I saw a lot of targeting Grimes last season so Dunta had to be doing something right. Grimes deserves to be the starter despite all the doubts about his height, and his ability to cover bigger receivers. His performance last season should quiet all of that even though I know it hasn’t. Although I like Grimes, what if we brought Asomugha in and paired him with Robinson with Grimes in the slot to cover the smaller receivers. That’s instantly one of the best secondaries in the NFL.

Ken Strickland

May 24th, 2011
12:46 pm

Last yr on DEF, CB was one of our strongest positions, and some of you are all up in the air about suggesting we brake the bank to sign Asomugha. Do you really thing he’d be a significant enough upgrade over fellow Pro Bowl CB BGrimes to justify offering a max contract to sign him?

If you’re going to spend big money, at least spend it on something that’s desperately needed and will offer a significant upgrade. Even CB Asomugha will have coverage issues if we don’t improve our pass rush. I just don’t understand the flawed logic and individual bias towards height.

Some feel we should replace CB BGrimes with a taller, and possibly less talented CB. They just can’t make themselves get past this stupid height issue and accept his overall talent and Pro Bowl ability.

ASHCAN.

May 24th, 2011
12:47 pm

The falcons need a true corner aside robinson, a D end and depth at key positions.The nfc south just got tougher and the nfc as a whole is more competitive.Lets not look at what happened last year because teams know a teams strengths and weaknesses year in and year out unless the starting roster alignment is different(Upgrade).Teams will get better threw free agency and the draft.So mr blank,defense wins championships. we need help.Whats the use of having a high powered offense when you can’t stop nobody? Its cool to build threw the draft but bring in a starter at DE and CB.Then i can change hope into faith.

StevoDeG

May 24th, 2011
12:49 pm

@Rikus, I agree wholeheartedly. My friends were mocking me with how well our investment had panned out, and the announcers on fox kept making a big deal about how Dunta didnt have a pick. My defense was your exact words.

waynester

May 24th, 2011
12:50 pm

They threw to the right side because teams continue to underestimate Grimes due to his height. If Dunta is a “shut down corner” he just became one over the winter, because he’s never been one in his career. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pulling for him to succeed bigtime, I just haven’t seen the proof yet….

Gritz Blitz

May 24th, 2011
12:50 pm

I like Grimes at the slot but bringing somebody else in to play opposite Robinson is not going to do anything until we get some kind of a pass rush..

ASHCAN.

May 24th, 2011
1:04 pm

@Ken strickland,the bucs had one of the worse pass defenses from the front four in the nfl but there CB’S did a hell of a job in the secondary.Not saying that your wrong how you see things but we got scorched for 48 points from the packers and all the blame don’t point to the DE.Its the big games thats gonna count(Playoffs)not regular season ask the patriots.We don’t have a player that a QB fear on our defense with the acception of maybe abe and thats a BIG maybe.We don’t have a defender when a QB drops back in the pocket he thinks twice about throwing the ball his way.Grimes is not and will never be that guy with his probowl.We need not to settle and live off last years 13-3 and think it will be easily repeated.We need defense that will show up consistant sunday in and sunday out not against the less talented teams.

ASHCAN.

May 24th, 2011
1:17 pm

Robinson is a pippen next to jordan(CB),We need a jordan at corner.Seems atlanta sports always get the pippens.We got robinson who suppose to be a BIG upgrade,the hawks got jj who signed his unearned contract(Get rid of him),braves got uggla who’s been playen uggly,and i will not even mention the thrashers.Seems the only team we have to make some noise is the dream(WNBA).BLANK,WE NEED DEFENSE LAST YEAR WAS LAST YEAR!!!!

FACTS

May 24th, 2011
1:19 pm

Whatever, Grimes will always be the favorite target of every team we play, so get over it….any Offensive coordinator would be a fool not to throw the ball at that guy…remember the Green Bay game when he could not climb the ladder?Grimes went to the the pro-bowl because he was the most targeted CB in the NFL…..which means he had more oppurtunities than any other CB to make big plays…..hmmm, did he lead the league in int’s……heck no LOL

Loyal Falcon

May 24th, 2011
1:41 pm

@DLed,
Thanks for the articles.I get excited anytime I see a new story posted. This lockout is killing me. I’m tired of hearing Rich Gannon and Adam Schein(clueless) on nfl radio talk about how they hate our first round move to pick up Julio Jones aka Waffle House! Keep up the good work

Loyal Falcon

May 24th, 2011
1:51 pm

@DLed,

Any updates on our other draft picks? Rodgers,Matthews,Dent,Bosher,Jackson

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 24th, 2011
2:13 pm

Dent has been to a couple of the workouts. Nothing on the others.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 24th, 2011
2:16 pm

Gritz Blitz — I agree about the pass rush. The corners can’t hold up forever.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 24th, 2011
2:19 pm

Loyal Falcon — I will try to catch up with the other rookies in the coming weeks. I like the “Waffle House” name for Julio. Yeah, the Sirius guys
are getting redundant. Although they had a good hall of fame discussion this morning.

Alpha9

May 24th, 2011
2:34 pm

Im so sick of hearing about how our defense got torched…Yet nobody in Steelers country is saying get rid of Troy P because Aaron Rodgers made him look like a rookie Steelers D got burned too…We lost to a team that was completely healthy and on fire..No Shame In That

Alpha9

May 24th, 2011
2:37 pm

I’ve also yet to read any post holding the D Linemen accountable if you get no pressure up the middle it makes it tougher for the ends to get pressure…2nd year from knee injury for Jerry you will see a difference along with Babs Lets hope Father Time ignores Abe for one more year..you don’t need a corner you need actually 2 DE…well 1 Cliff Matthews was a steal and Will Replace Abe.A healthy Spoon playin WLB where he belongs will help 2…BVG deserves a ton of credit for doing less with more than any D cordinator

robert

May 24th, 2011
3:10 pm

@FACTS he did lead the league in passes defended though.

waynester

May 24th, 2011
3:38 pm

Some posters on here are just like the other teams in the NFL–still foolishly underestimating Grimes. All the man does is prove ya’ll wrong time & time again.
robert is right about passes defended PLUS he was among the league-leaders in INTs… Pay the man…..

hiramsaint

May 24th, 2011
5:08 pm

seeing as how they couldn’t go any further in the other direction , growth would be the only thing possible!

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SeenThisB4

May 24th, 2011
6:36 pm

The Saints are going to beat that falcan’t secondary to a miserable pulp!

Saints: 2011 NFC South Champions!

Gazoo

May 24th, 2011
7:27 pm

I see I was correct again…bow down and love me a bit more.

florida falcon

May 24th, 2011
7:52 pm

Hey Dol, how come the AJC hasn’t written about Roddy’s slam on twitter. Personally i don’t blame him (roddy). It looks as if the AJC is not reporting anything that puts them in a negative light. C’mon Dol, we’re counting on you to set the record straight.

waynester

May 24th, 2011
8:23 pm

hiramsaint
Yes, growth is the only acceptable direction for the 13-3 NFCSouth champs–
Seen
You’re making a huge assumption there–plus you’re leaving out the Bucs—probably the most improved team in the division. Just like last season, you’re typing checks that your team can’t cash….

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 24th, 2011
9:22 pm

florida falcon – That’s news side. I do sports.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 24th, 2011
9:28 pm

Gazoo — We love you!!!

hiramsaint

May 24th, 2011
10:06 pm

@ waynester- acceptable???-try thre other way , it’s the only direction to go when you hit a wall . when you get cornholed by the # 6 seed wild card team , then bragging about 13-3 doesn’t carry any weight. when you go 13-3 and win the superbowl , then you can squawk!

Falcons Chic

May 24th, 2011
11:22 pm

Alpha 9 — I respectfully request your input in re BVG, because I was at a loss to explain to my father-in-law how any DC couldn’t modify the defensive strategy over halftime in the GB game. If there is something I’m missing insofar as strategy, line-ups, or depth … please let me know. I just saw a 20yd x 20yd doughnut hole of no defense which led Rodgers to believe he was “in the zone” the whole night. I’d've loved to have seen more with less that night, but I cannot say I could spot a strategy change.

eM

May 25th, 2011
10:06 am

hiramsaint

May 24th, 2011
10:06 pm
@ waynester- acceptable???-try thre other way , it’s the only direction to go when you hit a wall . when you get cornholed by the # 6 seed wild card team , then bragging about 13-3 doesn’t carry any weight. when you go 13-3 and win the superbowl , then you can squawk!

Good morning you piece **it. Ok we got “cornholed” by the Packers, what does that say for your team getting handled by a 7-9 playoff team that your “high powered” offence should have “cornholed?” You walking turd, keep your mouth shut!

ASHCAN.

May 25th, 2011
11:11 am

@Hiramsaint,my point exactly.You have fans that keep living off of last years 13-3 record and already crowning the falcons a lock to win everything when other teams especially in the division who’s getting better too(Draft,free agents).Then feel good about losing to a team just because they won a superbowl.We all have our own opinion off what we see in a team and im saying grimes is not going to take this team over the top.To everyone who keep throwing records up,this is the nfl and records don’t mean squat diddly in the playoffs.Its the better team that win.One year the patriots go 16-0 and lose to a better team that was better prepared.Another season they go 14-2 and lose.Falcons go 13-3 and lose so records are throwed out of the window in the playoffs because every team is 0-0,you lose and go home.I see things different when it comes to player personnel(Falcons) and my OPINION is this defense(especially CB) aint built for the post season(playoffs).Get somebody in here thats going to make a difference WHEN IT COUNTS NOT REGULAR SEASON.I don’t know about some of you fans but last year was last year.this team will be just a team good enough to just make it to the playoffs but WILL NOT have what it takes to win a playoff game if they don’t open there eyes.Every year its the same saying,”WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR”! Im tired of hearing that.

eM

May 25th, 2011
11:42 am

ASHCAN.

May 25th, 2011
11:11 am
@Hiramsaint,my point exactly.You have fans that keep living off of last years 13-3 record and already crowning the falcons a lock to win everything when other teams especially in the division who’s getting better too(Draft,free agents).Then feel good about losing to a team just because they won a superbowl.We all have our own opinion off what we see in a team and im saying grimes is not going to take this team over the top.To everyone who keep throwing records up,this is the nfl and records don’t mean squat diddly in the playoffs.Its the better team that win.One year the patriots go 16-0 and lose to a better team that was better prepared.Another season they go 14-2 and lose.Falcons go 13-3 and lose so records are throwed out of the window in the playoffs because every team is 0-0,you lose and go home.I see things different when it comes to player personnel(Falcons) and my OPINION is this defense(especially CB) aint built for the post season(playoffs).Get somebody in here thats going to make a difference WHEN IT COUNTS NOT REGULAR SEASON.I don’t know about some of you fans but last year was last year.this team will be just a team good enough to just make it to the playoffs but WILL NOT have what it takes to win a playoff game if they don’t open there eyes.Every year its the same saying,”WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR”! Im tired of hearing that.

ASHCAN, exactly what does it smell like with your nose up Himey’s butt. Look, this is a Falcons blog so I guess every other non-Falcon fan can come on here and talk smack about their team and how they will win the superbowl etc….. Do I think the Falcons will go all the way….yes, I think they can. Will they, don’t know. We are fans trying to have a little fun, but in doing so we have to put up with dip **its like you and himey. Leave if you don’t like. Mmmk!

eM

May 25th, 2011
11:57 am

New Orleans aints under Sean Peyton

2006 10-6 1st NFCS
2007 7-9 3rd NFCS
2008 8-8 4th NFCS
2009 13-3 1st NFCS Superbowl champs. Woo Hoo!! Who dat!
2010 11-5 2nd NFCS and going back to their old ways.