Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Season Behind Him, Aldrick Robinson Focused On Proving Himself
ASHBURN – The lack of playing time Aldrick Robinson had during his rookie season was, in his mind, entirely the fault of the owners’ lockout.
“Yeah, it killed me,” Robinson said. “It definitely killed me not knowing what I’m doing out on the football field.”
Robinson, a 5-foot-10, 181-pound receiver, was chosen by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the NFL Draft last season. Only the first-round picks were given their playbooks because of a temporary court injunction, meaning Robinson had to wait until the lockout was over and he reported to camp to begin to learn the Redskins’ offense.
He spent nearly the entire year on the practice squad – “and I didn’t like that,” he said – and was only signed to the 53-man roster for the final game of the regular season, for which he was inactive.
A full offseason behind him, and a chance to better learn the playbook, Robinson thinks he can show the coaches his full range of ability in training camp.
“Learning the playbook was my biggest thing,” Robinson said. “I learned it, I know it now better than ever, so that’s the main thing I wanted to work on … [and] that’s what happened.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan understands the difficulties several of the rookies and first-year players faced last season, and he’s noticed several of them have gotten better after a regular offseason.
“It’s not like you’re going to go out there and practice for a couple hours, but again, you get a chance to watch the film, learn the terminology, do the little things the right way, where the common things, all of a sudden, are just automatic,” Shanahan said. “That’s what he’s able to do now – not think and play.”
With so many receivers in camp and likely only six or seven roster spots available, Robinson knows he has only until the final preseason game to show he’s worthy of sticking around for the entire season.
“I want to be on the 53 this year,” Robinson said. “That’s what my goal is, and anything to help this team win – whether that’s returning kicks, running down on kicks, blocking on kicks, catching balls, coming in [for] special situations – anything I can do.”