James Robinson is a young man of few words and probably fewer cuts. As he describes his playing style:
"I'm a hard runner. I try not to get too cute with a lot of things, but if I have to, I will. I try to score touchdowns and get yards."
That simple but effective approach that he took for his three seasons in Jacksonville will now be used as a member of the Jets, and he's excited about that.
So is head coach Robert Saleh, the head of the beneficiaries of this trade as the Jets quickly replaced rookie Breece Hall in the RBs meeting room with a slightly older, productive veteran."
"He looks like Michael [Carter] in stature, but he's a one-cut runner, he gets downhill in a hurry," Saleh said. "He's a really, really good complement to what Ty Johnson and Michael bring to the table, so just trying to keep that versatility in our room. Obviously, losing Breece is a big blow, but James Robinson is a pretty good football player, too."
Robinson also appreciates good football teammates, and he's found a bunch of them in his new home.
"I love the vibe," he told reporters about the Jets' locker room following Wednesday's practice. "There's a lot of guys that want to win and I can see that. At practice I can see that, too.
"It feels pretty good, I'll tell you, to go to 5-2 from 2-5."
Robinson was of course enumerating the records of the team he came to in trade and the team he left, the Jaguars. It was a rapid rise and fall for the undrafted free agent from Illinois State, who crowned his Illinois State career with 1,917 rushing yards and 18 rushing TDs as a senior, then ran for 1,070 yards, caught 49 passes for 344 yards and scored 10 total TDs as an undrafted Jaguars rookie.
Last season, his offensive snaps rose but his yards and TDs dipped. Then this season new HC Doug Pederson arrived and Robinson appeared to have lost out to Travis Etienne, the first-rounder out of Clemson who missed all of 2021 with injury and came back to take over the starting tailback role in the Jaguars' new offense.
"Travis is a great guy, a great running back," Robinson said. "I felt like we'd be a one-two punch but they kind of fell out of that. I think they were using my not being healthy as an excuse. ... Last Sunday, I felt like I could've played but you all saw it. I didn't."
He was referring to the Jags' 23-17 home loss to the Giants. Robinson actually did play, but it was 12 offensive snaps with no carries and one target with no catches.
But all that's water down the St. Johns River. Robinson is a Hudson River kind of guy now and the Jets are bringing him along slowly. For one thing, there's his fourth NFL playbook to learn in three seasons. There's the current Jets RB depth chart, which lists Carter, Ty Johnson and rookie practice-squad graduate Zonovan "Bam" Knight.
And there's that knee soreness, although Robinson said, "I feel good now," and Saleh replied, "He passed all of our physicals, all of those tests. We feel comfortable with where he's at. We'll see where he gets during the course of the week."
Do you hope he's available to make his Green & White debut on Sunday against the Patriots, Saleh was asked. "Sure," he said, "but you never know."
Robinson, in so many words, said he's ready for whatever his new team hands off or throws to him.
"I'm just keeping it simple for now," he said. "Really, it's Week 8 so I can't really just dive into there and learn everything at once. I'll just learn the things I can and try to help the team."