Redskins Aldrick Robinson capitalizing on opportunity

Redskins Aldrick Robinson capitalizing on opportunity
December 21, 2013, 10:00 am
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Aldrick Robinson is, without a doubt, the fastest wide receiver on the Redskins' roster. The past two games, though, he’s added some big-time production to that elite speed. 

In Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, Robinson equaled his career-high for receptions (4) and set a new high for receiving yards (99). And that came a week after he hauled in four catches for 67 yards against the Chiefs.

“He’s got some great speed and the ability to make plays,” Coach Mike Shanahan said this week. “So it was nice for him, and us, to capitalize on his ability. He’ll just keep getting better as time goes on. He’s a lot more comfortable with our offense, our system. You like to see games like that.”

On the season, Robinson, 25, has also established personal bests in receptions (14), yards (318), yards per catch (a team–leading 22.7) and first downs (11).

“Right now, I’m not just a take-a-shot guy,” Robinson said Friday at Redskins Park. “I’m more a part of the offense, so I’m getting a chance to run more routes and get open.”

Indeed, losing Leonard Hankerson to a season-ending knee injury depleted the Redskins’ receiving corps. But it also presented a new opportunity for Robinson, who started the season as the team’s No. 5 wide receiver behind Pierre Garçon, Hankerson, Josh Morgan and Santana Moss.

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Since Hankerson got hurt against the Eagles, Robinson’s average snap count has increased significantly, going from about 13 play per game to 37.

“I’m still Pete’s backup, but I can go side-to-side,” Robinson said, referring to Garçon. “I also come in for Josh. So I have to know every position.”

The increase in practice reps and plays on Sunday afternoons, Robinson said, has allowed him to apply what he’s learned in the classroom to the football field. He said he’s become a more polished route runner, is more aware of his responsibilities and, in general, has a better grasp of the offense and how defenses are attempting to neutralize him.

Robinson’s most memorable highlight in recent weeks came in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. He used this top-gear speed to sprint between safety William Moore and cornerback Robert Alford. Then he reeled in a deep pass from Kirk Cousins for a 62-yard gain. Robinson had to adjust to the slightly underthrown ball, which prevented him from scoring.

“I kind of got slowed down by the ball,” he said. “And the corner that was guarding me, he’s a fast guy. So to beat him, I would have to catch that in stride.”

With two games remaining, Robinson said his challenge is to build on the past two weeks and enter the offseason with momentum and confidence. He’s due to become an exclusive rights free agent after the season.

“That’s my plan: be consistent every week,” Robinson said. “I had a good game against the Chiefs. I had another good game against the Falcons. This week, I’m just going to try to keep that going.”

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