An anchor to the offensive line, the center is one of the most analytical positions in the game. He is responsible for making calls, recognizing different blitz packages and leading the trenches to protect the quarterback.
This is why Cincinnati should start Robinson over Cook this upcoming season.
The Bengals already have one of the strongest offensive lines in the NFL: Tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are undoubtedly the best at their positions for the AFC North, right guard Kevin Zeitler is a future Pro Bowler, and the one-two punch of Travelle Wharton and Clint Boling is good enough to lock it down at left guard.
To hoist this line to the next level, Robinson will have to continue performing as he did in 2012 when both Cook and Jeff Faine went down with injuries.
During Robinson's seven starts last season, the Bengals went 5-2 and scored 27.0 points per game. They averaged 19.3 first downs and a 41.6 percent third-down conversion rate (8.9 percent better than their overall number).
Robinson helped Cincinnati pass for 198.0 yards per game and the backfield to average 4.6 yards per carry, and Andy Dalton completed 60.7 percent of his passes with him snapping the ball.
When Cook returned from injury, things became stagnant on the offensive side. To his credit, he hadn't played since the preseason -- but that doesn't matter too much to the coaching staff and fanbase when you're a five-year veteran.
Cincinnati went 2-1 with Cook (with the one loss coming to the Houston Texans in the first round of the playoffs), but failed to score more than 13 points in all three games. The Bengals averaged just 12.3 first downs and sputtered in third-down situations, converting a lowly 18.9 percent (7-of-37).
The passing game wasn't improved by his return, averaging 171.0 yards in his three starts, and the ground attack was barely existant at 2.7 yards per carry. Dalton was well under his season average by completing 55.8 percent of his passes with Cook at center, throwing one touchdown in the final three games.
Cook is a very intelligent person and has been a key communicator across the front for the Bengals, starting 50 games since the 2009 season. He's not an All-Pro center, but has done a nice job for what was expected of him.
Now it's time to pass the torch.
Robinson, now entering his second year after going undrafted in 2012, is an explosive position blocker that is very quick at getting set after snapping the ball. He is very strong and able-bodied, allowing him to jolt defenders at the point of attack and stay square during contact.
As a former guard, his size (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) makes him one of the bigger centers in the league. This gives him an advantage against opponents as he's able to seal them from the action and turn them off the line of scrimmage.
Coach Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden need to name him the starter as soon as possible so he can find an early rhythm with Dalton and have the needed confidence heading into the regular season.
Tyler Waddell is a member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network in Sports and covers the Cincinnati Bengals. You can also find his work on FanIQ.com as the College Football Lead Writer and for Cox Media Group as a local high school sports reporter.
You can follow Tyler on Twitter: @Tyler_Waddell
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