NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The past month has been a whirlwind for new Titans general manager Jon Robinson.
But he's starting to settle in, and get more comfortable. Robinson and the Titans have another busy stretch ahead, beginning with the NFL Combine next week.
"I'm getting to know the staff a little bit more. Coach (Mike) Mularkey and I have had numerous conversations, more extensively about our team and how we're going to fill some of the needs on our football team,'' Robinson said. "I am sort of getting into a routine and having a daily schedule on things I am trying to attack, trying to balance, free agency meetings and the draft stuff.
"It's been good, and I'm excited about what's ahead."
It's already been a busy February. The Titans conducted week-long, pre-combine meetings with the scouting staff last week at Saint Thomas Sports Park. During the course of the week, the Titans also welcomed former players into the building for an alumni event. The team also released nine-year veteran safety Michael Griffin last week.
Robinson, formerly with the Patriots and Buccaneers, said he's getting a better feel for the draft class – and its strengths -- as well. The Titans have the first overall pick.
"The underclassmen have crystallized certain areas,'' Robinson said. "Defensive linemen, there was a really good group of defensive linemen down at the Senior Bowl. There's some receivers in this draft that are really good football players. Offensive linemen, there's a good core group of those guys as well. They obviously can't all go in the first, second and third rounds -- somebody has to go on the third day -- but when you get to those "third day players" I think we'll still be able to find some guys that can help contribute to this football team in their roles respectively."
The alumni event allowed Robinson an opportunity to get to know some of the team's former players as well. He talked with receiver Derrick Mason, tackle Brad Hopkins and defensive end Dave Ball, among others. Over a half-dozen former Titans showed up for the event.
Like Mularkey, Robinson wants them to feel welcome at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
"From the standpoint of the players, you spin it back to when they were in junior high and all they have known is football since junior high, high school, college, and then they get to the professional level. So their various teams are family to those guys, and when it is over, it's over. It is kind of like a car crash, it just stops,'' Robinson said.
"So life for them is totally different when they wake up in that first month (after football), to certainly the next year, two years. That family and being a part of the team and the camaraderie and the brotherhood they are a part of on a daily basis and have been on a daily basis since they are 10, 11 years old, it's over for those guys. Mike and I wanted to make sure that we open those doors back up and make them feel like they are a part of that brotherhood still and they are welcome to come around here and be a part of us, so that transition for them from football life to real world life is a little less than a screeching halt and make them feel like they are a part of it."
Robinson said he's looking forward to the combine in Indianapolis, the start of free agency next month, and the NFL Draft in April.
Along with Mularkey, Robinson has the big picture in mind.
"Our relationship, although youthful in its stages, it's a trusting relationship. I really trust Mike and I feel like he trusts me. We communicate well together, he is very approachable as I am. We talk two, three, four times a day on a daily basis,'' Robinson said of Mularkey.
"He and I are both firmly entrenched in the fact we want a tough football team. We want accountable, smart, players, guys who will go out and execute what is asked of them and guys who buy into the system. So it's really starting to crystallize, if you will, our view of what we are looking for in a Titan."