Robertson makes Jets debut; Edwards raves about top pick
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Just about everyone watched Dewayne Robertson on his first day with the New York Jets .
Cameras clicked, reporters took notes and veterans who weren't participating in the three-day minicamp showed up Friday to gawk at the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
The rookie had better get used to it, and the pressure that comes with playing in New York.
"I'm not worried about the pressure," Robertson said. "If I do worry about the pressure, I'll buckle under the pressure. I'm just going to do what I've been doing."
The 6-foot-1, 317-pound defensive tackle should fit right in with the Jets, who lacked depth on the line last season.
Coach Herman Edwards raved after Robertson's first two-hour morning practice.
"You could see the power," Edwards said. "He's a big man, thick and athletic, and he really loves football. All he says is, 'No, sir. Yes, sir.' When you draft a guy that high, you're getting the whole package."
Robertson dominated at Kentucky, notching 48 tackles and a team-high five sacks last season while constantly being double- and sometimes triple-teamed. He left school a year early and impressed scouts and coaches with his size, power and agility.
Robertson showed explosiveness off the line Friday and said afterward he wasn't nervous about his debut.
"I'm just out there playing football," Robertson said. "I'm not a special guy because I was drafted first. I'm just another football player on the team."
While Robertson might believe that, he will be in the spotlight because he was chosen so high and fans in New York are notoriously known for their expectations.
Defensive end Bryan Thomas, the Jets' No. 1 pick last season, has some advice for Robertson. Thomas had a disappointing rookie season and heard all the criticism.
"I'd tell him not to be so nervous, do what you did in college," Thomas said. "I came in trying to please everybody."
But Edwards is aware that Robertson will be closely scrutinized. So he told him to avoid reading the newspaper and watching sports reports on television.
"There will be pressure on him, but he needs to be himself," Edwards said. "He came to the media capital of the world. Everything he does it going to be under a microscope. But he'll learn to deal with that."
Robertson didn't play football when he was younger. His high school coach saw Robertson sitting on his aunt's front porch one day and was convinced he needed to join the football team.
An eighth grader at the time, Robertson went to the high school gym and bench pressed 225 pounds 10 times. He joined the team and made a name for himself.
But he's never played in a town as big as New York. And the first time he visited the city was for the draft last week.
"The first thing he told me was, 'Coach, this is my first time in New York,'" Edwards said. "I said, 'We don't practice in New York.' This is probably more quaint for him right now. It's all new to him. He'll have to go through it, but he'll handle it well."
Robertson isn't worried about the media or the fans. He just wants to start his career and make an immediate impact.
"It's here. I can't do nothing but just take advantage of it now. The day I've been waiting for is finally here," Robertson said.
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