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Falcons' Dunta Robinson playing up to expectations

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson is living up to long-held expectations, says John Manasso at Fox Sports South. Robinson, the 10th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, signed a six-year, $57 million contract with the Falcons in 2010. The two years since signing that deal included only three interceptions and no forced fumbles, leading some to express disappointment with Robinson.

The 2012 season is already looking like a significant improvement. Through five games, Robinson has one interception, a forced fumble, and half a sack. He also has 24 tackles, nearly half the 52 he has averaged over the past two seasons. The one interception he has in the current season is particularly choice, coming late in the Falcons' close win over the Washington Redskins and helping seal the game for Atlanta.

According to Manasso, much of the credit for Robinson's increased performance goes to an improved defensive scheme and the work Robinson put in during the offseason. He quotes Robinson:

"I would just say he's letting me be the player that I am. I think that's the kind of bottom line. He's letting me go out and play my comfortable style of football, not changing the things I do. He's just saying, ‘Dunta, I trust you to go out and make plays.' It's a lot easier for me. It's a lot more fun. It's paying off, man, and I'm feeling good."

Falcons head coach Mike Smith praised Robinson for setting the tone in the backfield and demonstrating to opposing teams that Atlanta is going to be a physical, aggressive defense. Robinson will hope to do just that as the Falcons host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.