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Robinson Stays Focused On the Future

Posted Feb 16, 2012

Rookie wide receiver Aldrick Robinson had a tough start to his pro career. Relegated to the practice squad, he gradually earned back the trust of Redskins' coaches last season.


Why is being a rookie so difficult in the NFL?

Just ask wide receiver Aldrick Robinson.

In the Redskins' first preseason game last season, a 16-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedExField, Robinson made his NFL debut as a punt returner.

Twice he muffed punts during the game, but he was able to recover the fumble both times.

It was not exactly the type of start that the 5-10, 178-pound Robinson, the Redskins’ sixth-round draft pick last April, was hoping for in his first presason action.

In the middle of learning the offense and special teams, as well as adjusting to life in the NFL, Robinson was suddenly faced with a new challenge.

How to earn back the trust of the coaching staff?

Robinson would go on to see limited playing time in the Redskins’ final three preseason games. He showed enough promise to earn a place on the practice squad.

Almost a full season went by, and finally in Week 17, prior to the Redskins’ season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, Robinson was promoted to the 53-man roster.

“I want to show [coaches] that I can play,” Robinson said before the Eagles game. “That’s what I didn’t show in preseason and if I get the chance, that’s what I want to show.”

He said his route-running at wide receiver improved in practice and he became more steady as a kick returner.

“It’s just being consistent,” he said.

Robinson also credited his teammates with keeping him focused despite the disappointment of not playing on Sundays.

“My teammates and people close to me, they kept me motivated," he said. "They know how to keep your head on straight."

Even though Robinson did not play in the season finale, he was thrilled to be part of the Redskins' roster.

“It was kind of like a new beginning, and it was great to know that they wanted me back on the team,” he said. “I’m feeling and looking more comfortable out there, and it definitely rebuilt the trust with my coaches.

"It shows that they have some plans for me in the future.”

Robinson joined the Redskins after a standout college career at SMU. He caught 181 passes for 3,314 yards – an impressive 18.3 yards-per-carry average – and 30 touchdowns in four years at SMU.