Given the opportunity to show what he can do as a featured member of the offense, wide receiver Aldrick Robinson had an electrifying performance Saturday night against the Chicago Bears.
The Redskins’ 2011 sixth-round pick out of Southern Methodist University, Robinson led all receivers with six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the second half of Washington’s second preseason game.
The performance followed a modest, two-catch, 28-yard outing by Robinson in the preseason opener against Buffalo. Those two receptions marked the first of Robinson’s professional career, and Saturday’s output contrasted greatly from his rookie preseason.
A year ago, Robinson didn’t record a single catch, but instead muffed two punt returns as he tried to make the 53-man roster. The 5-foot-10, 181-pound Robinson didn’t survive the final roster cuts, but was re-signed to Washington’s practice squad, where he spent 16 weeks before being promoted to the official roster on Dec. 27.
Redskins coaches have noted that Robinson has looked much more comfortable during offseason practices and training camp. Now that the games have begun, he is making a strong case that he deserves a spot on the 2012 roster.
“I like my chances to do what I do when I get the chance to do it. So, I totally feel like I can make plays, and I definitely proved that,” said Robinson, who was targeted seven times on Saturday — more than any receiver on either team. “I was definitely happy to get the opportunity. Kirk [Cousins] was really good on his reads and made all the receivers look really good tonight.”
Robinson said that his goal this year has been to pay greater attention to the small details and play more fundamentally sound. It has enabled him to be able to play at full speed rather than having to feel his way along as he often did last year.
“It’s in the details. When coach calls the play, we have to execute it,” said Robinson, one of the most prolific receivers in SMU history. “You always have to be ready for the ball no matter what, and when you know the ball is coming to you, you definitely have to be ready for it.”
Robinson has been sure-handed this preseason, and he has also displayed a knack for getting open. He got a chance to show off his speed Saturday night when in the fourth quarter, he shook his defender, came back to the ball made a catch and turned downfield, outrunning three Bears defensive backs for a 49-yard touchdown.
“I’m starting to get my football swag back,” Robinson said. “After not getting any balls last year, being on the practice squad for most of the year, now, with these two preseason games, I’m getting back in my mode.”