Aldrick Robinson gets a second chance

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Aldrick Robinson gets a second chance

Aldrick Robinson’s first opportunity to make an impact in the NFL didn’t last long. 

On Sunday, the Redskins’ wide receiver will get a second chance against the Panthers. And this time, Robinson knows can’t afford to drop the ball again.

“Opportunities are limited,” Robinson said. “Now that they’re going to get more involved, I have to take advantage of my opportunities.”

Robinson replaced Pierre Garçon when the No. 1 receiver hurt his foot in the first quarter of the season opener. Robinson played the final three quarters against the Saints and impressed the coaching staff with his speed and route-running. The 24-year-old also hauled in four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

As a result of his strong showing, Robinson was tapped to start in Garçon’s place against the Rams the following week. But instead of seizing the opportunity, Robinson missed two blocks and dropped a deep pass that hit him in the hands.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted,” Robinson said. “That kind of pushed me back a little bit. Now I’ve got another chance.”

Coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t say exactly how Robinson will be deployed, but with Garçon expected to be sidelined again and the entire group of wide receivers coming off a wretched performance in Pittsburgh that included 10 drops, Robinson will see a more prominent role this week in a critical game for the Redskins (3-5).

“Aldrick has gotten back in the mix,” Shanahan said, referring to Robinson's role in practice this week. “When Pierre went down early, he had a pretty good game. He’s going to get some more playing time. And as you have guys who get hurt, these guys have to step up.”

Robinson played a career-high 66 snaps against the Saints after Garçon hurt his foot. But it was all downhill from there for the Dallas native as his playing time plummeted from 30 snaps vs. the Rams to three against the Giants. He also missed the Tampa Bay game after getting knocked unconscious during the pregame warmup when he ran into teammate Brandon Meriweather.

Against Pittsburgh, Robinson remerged – sorta. He was included in 15 plays and nearly scored a touchdown when dived for a Robert Griffin III pass in the end zone early in the fourth quarter. Robinson got both hands on the ball, but cornerback Keenan Lewis held Robinson’s arm, increasing the catch’s degree of difficulty.

Even though he didn’t snag the ball, the play showed Shanahan something.

“If he wasn’t interfered with,” the coach said. “The guy [had him in an] arm bar. He still almost caught it. That showed me a lot right there. There were another couple of routes that he ran that I was really impressed with so he will get some more playing time.”

This time, Robinson plans to grab the opportunity with both hands – on the field, the practice field and in the classroom.

“I have to take a better approach,” Robinson said. “I have to be well-prepared and be ready when a play presents itself Sunday. I’m going to be a lot more focused, work on the details and the little things – all the things that will help me do better than the last time I had this chance.”

DeAngelo Hall on Josh Norman: 'I was all about trying to get him'

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DeAngelo Hall on Josh Norman: 'I was all about trying to get him'

The acquisiton of Josh Norman is a move that'll have far-reaching consequences across the Redskins franchise. The pass rush, for one, will benefit, as Norman should blanket opposing receivers for longer amounts of time and allow the big boys more opportunities to reach the quarterback. The offense should profit as well, as the corner will likely provide the unit shorter fields to work with as he generates some turnovers.

The transaction will also help individuals, too, like DeAngelo Hall. The 32-year-old, who will be lining up at safety in 2016 after experimenting with it near the end of last season, said as much during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny Show on Monday.

"To add a guy like Josh Norman, it's going to be amazing for us," Hall said, before adding that the All-Pro's presence will make his job much easier. "I was all about trying to get him."

As it turns out, the veteran played a minor but key role in recruiting Norman. Hall said team president Bruce Allen asked him about flying to Atlanta along with defensive coordinator Joe Barry and secondary coach Perry Fewell for the two sides' initial meeting, but Hall was already there — and had already been in touch with him.

"I had been texting Josh prior to that," he said. "I knew that they liked him... I couldn't wait to give him my spiel and my pitch."

The organization's strategy obviously worked, as Norman arrived to the team's facility a free agent and left it under contract. Now one of the premier members of the Burgundy and Gold, he'll be expected to contribute to Washington's overall progress.

In Hall's mind, that means not being satisfied with 2015's achievements. 

"We just got to keep raising the bar," he said. "We just want to follow that up with another stellar year. I definitely think we have the tools and the guys on this football team to be as good as we want to be."

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Redskins release rehabbing Chris Culliver, Scot McCloughan says

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Redskins release rehabbing Chris Culliver, Scot McCloughan says

After signing All-Pro Josh Norman and drafting talented Virginia Tech product Kendall Fuller, Scot McCloughan informed the media on Monday during his post-draft press conference that the team has released cornerback Chris Culliver.

Culliver was signed to a pricey 4-year, $32 million deal last offseason, but struggled with injuries and his production in 2015. He later said in the presser that the door on Culliver's return isn't closed, but overall, he hopes the defender gets what he wants on the open market. 

More updates to come on CSNmidatlantic.com

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Kirk Cousins on long-term deal: 'I want to go out and earn it'

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Kirk Cousins on long-term deal: 'I want to go out and earn it'

Some NFL players react negatively to receiving the franchise tag. In plenty of cases, the guy who is tagged views the designation as an insult or takes it as a sign that the organization doesn't fully trust him.

Kirk Cousins, though, an athlete who could seemingly find the bright side in anything — even something as gloomy as the ending to Marley & Me — said on Monday he has no issue with his team's decision to give him what's essentially a pricey one-year deal. The quarterback actually went so far as to borderline compliment the franchise's decision.

"I think that people make great decisions when they have a lot of information at their disposal, and if the Redskins would like more information from this next season to be able to make a decision on me long-term, I totally understand that and understand where they’re coming from," Cousins said during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny Show. "I think the ball’s in their court and I will react accordingly to whatever decision they make."

That's not to say the 27-year-old is simply going to accept the tag, though. During the interview, he reiterated his intentions of proving his worth on the field — that comes off as his top priority. With that being said, he's still not closing the door on his talks with the 'Skins, yet.

"I want to go out and earn it, and prove myself, and if I need to prove myself again, that’s fine. I’ll go see if I can do that," Cousins said. "By no means am I, or are we, going to try to force their hand in any way. They can do what they want and we’re going to react accordingly, but if they call, I’ll pick up the phone. We’ll see where it goes from here."

The terms of his agreement with the organization that drafted him may still be under some questioning, but his status as the starting signal caller absolutely isn't. So, with an eye toward next season, which will be his second as the lead man, Cousins said he's focused on taking more control as an individual and simply building himself as a passer.

"Stepping up vocally, being a little more confident in asserting myself that way," Cousins identified as something he's continuing to pick up. "With experience and with time, you get better and you get better and you get better, and you get more confident, and that helps you play better. I can feel myself on that growth process."

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