A group of reporters huddled around Aldrick Robinson’s locker at Redskins Park Monday afternoon, but before anyone could ask a question, quarterback Robert Griffin III called out to Robinson, reminding him of an obligation he had to fulfill.
The second-year wide receiver hung his head, covered his face with his hands, and then looked up and said, “Baylor beat SMU. Handily.”
Griffin cackled with delight and then offered to find a Baylor T-shirt for Robinson.
“Nah, you can’t do that. You can’t do that. That’s against the rules,” Robinson protested with a chuckle.
The 59-24 thrashing that Griffin’s Baylor Bears handed Robinson’s Southern Methodist Mustangs the day before still stung. But Robinson quickly shifted his focus to more pleasant thoughts.
This time last year, he had gotten cut by the Redskins after a struggle-filled preseason, and then was re-signed to the practice squad and faced little chance of a promotion and opportunity to see the field.
This year, Robinson, after a strong training camp and preseason, survived Friday’s roster cuts to make the 53-man roster, and aims to earn a regular spot in the game-day rotation with Santana Moss at slot receiver.
“It felt good. It was a great feeling,” Robinson said of the moment he learned he had made the team.
Redskins coaches saw a faster, more confident Robinson this preseason. With a year of practices under his belt, he was able to play without hesitation. And a year after getting left off the roster even though Washington carried eight other receivers, Robinson forced his way into the competition.
“My route running, my consistency, just knowing the offense [has improved],” Robinson said. “Knowing the offense is the big thing, because then I can use my speed.
Robinson had his best outing against Chicago with six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. After that, Coach Mike Shanahan often mentioned Robinson as one of punt/kick return man Brandon Banks’s top challengers for a roster spot.
It was learned late Friday morning that Banks made the team, but Robinson wasn’t worried.
He said his wife was charting roster cuts reported on Twitter by reporters on the Redskins’ beat, so that – coupled with the way the roster was formed last season – helped Robinson’s confidence.
Last year we kept a lot of receivers, so I felt that we might do the same thing, and I started looking at other positions,” Robinson said. “So, I still felt good after Brandon made the team.”
Robinson wound up beating out Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin for a spot on the receiving unit.
But he isn’t satisfied yet. Although he has made the roster, he must continue to impress coaches so they feel the need to include him on the 46-man game-day roster rather than select him as one of the seven inactive players.
“I can’t just stop here. I’ve got to make plays for this team,” Robinson said.