Robinson – a second-year pro with two previously unsuccessful, brief stints with San Francisco and Philadelphia – embraced the opportunity to prove himself to a new team after learning a valuable lesson following his second release.
The 5-foot-9, 193-pound Robinson in the six games since has contributed with seven special teams tackles as Washington’s coverage units have experienced some improvement.
In today’s Game Day Q&A, Robinson discusses his change of scenery, the mindset a special teams player must have, and his future aspirations.
MJ: What has this transition been like for you as you’ve settled in over the last six weeks while trying to carve out a role on this team?
TR: It’s been cool. My key right now, and just in life, is just keep pushing forward. Keep pushing, keep working hard and good things will come.
MJ: What kind of expectations did you have when you signed here?
TR: I just came in with the mindset of whatever they needed me to do, I would do. I had been released from San Francisco and Philadelphia, so I had to change my attitude because it was something about me, obviously. It ain’t the way I played. So, whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do it and try to be the best at it.
MJ: How did you regain your focus after getting released twice in less than a year?
TR: I did get discouraged. But I had good people in my corner. My ex-girlfriend was real helpful and encouraging me to push forward and keep working because it was all going to work out.
MJ: You mentioned an attitude adjustment. What changed?
TR: Just my approach to the game. I wanted to be playing safety so bad that I was kind of upset that I wasn’t playing safety. My focus wasn’t where it needed to be for what teams needed of me. So now, I go in with a better mindset. I still focus on safety, nickel and dime – whatever they need – but I also just go in positive and say, ‘If you want me to play special teams, I’m going to be the best special teams player out there.’
MJ: What did you realize about special teams as you mentally regrouped?
TR: Special teams is huge part of the game. A lot of teams lose football – most games come down to some special teams play, whether it’s field goal, kickoff, somebody returning a return. It’s a huge part of the game.
MJ: What kind of mindset do you have to have to run down a field at full-speed, knowing a violent collision is waiting?
TR: I love to hit anyway. I play safety and I love to hit. So, it’s just fearless. It’s nothing to be scared of, just go out there and you do your thing.
MJ: What’s your favorite unit to play on?
TR: Punt and playing gunner, and playing kickoff because you get to run down and make tackles.
MJ: How would you describe the adrenalin rush?
TR: For me, there’s nothing else like it that I’ve done to this point. It’s like helping a little kid and seeing him grow up and be good. I don’t know, it’s just real gratifying.
MJ: When you got here, was it good to see a familiar face in Kirk Cousins, your former Michigan State teammate?
TR: Oh, yeah. That was real good because I felt a little confidence to talk to him and ask him to help me out with things. That was real good to have him here.
MJ: What goals have you set for yourself now that you’ve settled in here?
TR: Actually, I just set a new goal of keep working hard and I want to really thrive on these special teams the rest of this way these last five games. I want to get these units going.
MJ: Your deal is up following this year. What will it take to find a long-term home?
TR: It just takes being in the right place at the right time, and this year is winding up, so my goal in the offseason is just get into a camp and I’m just going to show a team what I can do.
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