There's a reason Patrick Robinson was able to get over his training camp struggles this summer.
It's the same reason he isn't walking around the NovaCare Complex with his chest puffed out six games into the season.
"It's never as bad as you think it is and it's never as good as you think it is," the veteran cornerback said Tuesday. "Me, I try to stay even keel, focus on my everyday routine."
Every day when Robinson enters the NovaCare Complex, he sticks to that routine. He trains the same, he studies the same, he practices the same. He tries to stay consistent.
Consistent, consistent, consistent.
Robinson mentioned that word five times in about a minute span following Tuesday's light practice. It's sort of become the theme of the 30-year-old's season. It's something he learned with age and experience, partially on his own and partially from a plethora of veteran teammates with whom he's shared a locker room.
He admitted it can be difficult to trust the routine when the results don't follow. That's what happened to him this summer. But he trusted things would turn around.
"Eventually, you'll get the results you want," he said.
Turns out, he was right.
Through six games, Robinson hasn't just been passable. He's been one of the biggest surprises on the 5-1 Eagles and he has played a big role in their success. While ProFootballFocus' grades should be taken with a grain — or a shaker — of salt, Robinson is its second-highest graded cornerback in the NFL.
More importantly, he's been thrown at 36 times but has given up just 21 catches for 291 yards. He has two interceptions and six passes defensed.
Robinson is absolutely balling out right now.
Still, he's more interested in "staying even keel" and not letting the success get to his head.
"The team is doing pretty good but we still have a lot we need to work and improve on," he said. "And it's still early. Really early. I'm not too high on myself or the team. We still have a lot of work and a long way to go."
On a one-year deal, Robinson took this season as a challenge to prove he still belongs in the NFL. He's a former first-round pick who has never lived up to that potential and the Eagles are his third team in three years.
Robinson is on a prove-it deal. So far, that's going pretty well.
"I'm doing all right," he admitted. "I could still do a lot better. In my opinion, I could be better."
It's crazy to think Robinson is the same player who looked utterly lost this summer. He wasn't just bad. It was near-unanimous among reporters watching him that he was the most disappointing defensive player on the field.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz explained those struggles Tuesday by saying Robinson was simply working through playing new techniques the Eagles were asking him to play — some of them he had never played before.
It's hard to blame all of his bad moments on new techniques. He simply wasn't performing well and even admitted it at the time. But Schwartz said the team never got down on him.
"It took a lot of mental toughness for him," Schwartz said. "He never lost his confidence. We never lost our confidence in him."
It seemed like the real change in Robinson's play was actually the same event that had many wondering if he'd even make the team. The Eagles traded for Ronald Darby on Aug. 11, but instead of making Robinson the odd man out and going with Ron Brooks in the slot, Schwartz made Robinson the team's new nickel cornerback.
While Robinson has played both inside and out since Darby's injury in Week 1, he seems to have really found a comfy spot in the slot. Fellow corner Jalen Mills thinks Robinson's experience lends itself to be productive in that role; there isn't much he hasn't seen.
It's unclear what will happen to Robinson when Darby and maybe even Sidney Jones rejoin the lineup, but for now, the veteran is finally playing the way he's always wanted to.
When Robinson signed in April, he was asked what he needed to do this season to finally reach his potential. His answer shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
"As a coach, you want a player that's going to be the same player week in and week out," he said on April 1. "Not a great player, then mediocre, then great. You want someone who's going to be the same player week in and week out."
If nothing else, he's consistent.