Five 49ers to watch: 4. Trenton Robinson

August 18, 2012, 6:00 pm
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(This is the second part in a series that spotlights five 49ers players to watch in the team's exhibition game Saturday, 5 p.m., at the Houston Texans.)

Part 1: Mike Person
The progress has been slow and steady.Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio likes that about 49ers rookie safety Trenton Robinson. But, now, he'd like to see Robinson expedite his incline."We have been pleased with his progress, but looking for him to make that spike to where if he has to play we feel comfortable with him in there," Fangio said.The 49ers selected Robinson in the sixth round, and he appears to be in line to make the team. He is currently the 49ers' fourth safety behind starters Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson, and backup C.J. Spillman. At 5-foot-9, 193 pounds, Robinson must show an ability to excel in pass defense."It's just him being confident, being quick with his decisions, quick with his calls," Fangio said. "The safeties are the quarterbacks of the pass defense and get involved in a lot of calls with the linebackers. The quicker they spit them out, the quicker they anticipate them, the better the whole operation is and those young safeties are usually slow with that."Robinson played 33 snaps of defense in the 49ers' first exhibition game. He broke up a pass in the team's 17-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. He is expected to get plenty of playing time Saturday, too.If Robinson makes strides in the final weeks before the start of the regular season, it's possible he could work himself into a role against some of the pass-happy teams the 49ers face to open the season, such as Green Bay and Detroit.

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