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Brad Robbins expected to make “giant strides,” says Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons

The rookie out of Michigan is currently last in the NFL in punter EPA, but his upside remains high.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough start for Brad Robbins, who the Cincinnati Bengals selected out of Michigan in the sixth round of last year’s NFL Draft.

Recently, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons gave his assessment of the rookie.

“He still has a lot to learn and how to grow... Punting in the NFL, it’s not about lining up back up there and swinging away and hitting the ball as high and as far as you can. So much situational stuff that comes into play... I think if you ask Brad, he’d probably echo the same. He’s probably a little disappointed in it, and I think there’s a lot of room for improvement,” said Simmons via James Rapien.

The data backs Simmons’ evaluation, as Robbins is currently dead last in the NFL in punter EPA.

To Simmons’ credit, Robbins has had some good days and currently has 19 punts inside the 20-yard line, including a perfect punt against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16.

The special teams coordinator also took some of the blame for Robbins’ slow transition:

“I’m also requiring him to do different things he did there. I think he’ll grow in that area knowing exactly what I want [now] that we’ve been together for a season. Hopefully, that’ll improve immensely.”

The Bengals will certainly allow Robbins to compete for the punting job in camp. If he is who Simmons thinks he is, he should easily be able to keep his job.