Each day during training camp, the Redskins Blog will be highlighting one rookie as they participate in their first professional camp and try to find their way onto the final roster. Today’s spotlight is on linebacker Keenan Robinson.
I don’t want to start making crazy claims here, but the Redskins Blog’s Rookie Spotlight might indicate good luck that day for the player featured.
Take today’s subject, linebacker Keenan Robinson, for example. On Saturday, I talked with Robinson after the team’s first walk-through practice of the day. In the afternoon open practice, Robinson promptly made a great play and snagged an interception across the middle.
Coincidence? That’s not up for me to decide.
Anyway, Robinson — who was selected by the Redskins out of Texas in the fourth round of April’s NFL Draft — is a really nice, laid back guy who gave me some good perspective on his rookie season with the Redskins.
Getting into a routine
Robinson said Saturday after getting three days of practices under his belt that he was starting to get the routine that comes along with a rigorous NFL training camp lifestyle.
“The day is long, but they’re good for us at the same time because it allows you to get through running the scheme,” Robinson said. “You feel comfortable around the guys and you’re comfortable on the field and it just gives you a chance to prove yourself every day.”
Improvement is the name of the game, Robinson said.
“I’m just taking it day by day and trying to get better.”
Heat? What heat?
Robinson hails from Plano, Texas, so he knows a thing or two about playing football in warm weather.
Thursday’s practice at Redskins Park saw a heat index reach as high as 107 degrees. Accordingly, several of Robinson’s teammates took to Twitter to complain.
Bunch of babies.
“I mean it definitely wasn’t cool out there, but I feel like I’ve had some harder practices at Texas because of the heat,” Robinson said. “But as far as practice goes, it’s still going to be high intensity no matter what the temperature. Guys are gonna go out there and bust their butts.”
(For the record, I forgot to pack my lunch that day and had consumed two bottles of water instead. By 4 p.m., I was almost ready to show Redskins Nation a tutorial on ralphing in a trash can.)
Technical mumbo jumbo
Players are asked by the media constantly what they’re doing to improve.
Robinson dug a little deeper when asked about the technical things he’s working on.
“For me, it’s just, y’know, getting my run fits down,” he said. “Making sure I get my run fits down and second is just working on pass. I’ve always been good in pass coverage so that comes pretty easy to me, but it’s not too easy now because obviously they have great receivers, great tight ends in the league, but it’s something that comes natural.”
Robinson showed he wasn’t fibbing when he picked off that pass Saturday in practice.
Robinson said he’s been paired with fellow rookie Richard Crawford, a cornerback, as his roommate for training camp.
“It’s going pretty good,” Robinson said. “He’s a guy that went to SMU — a Dallas-area guy — so we both got a couple ties to Dallas.”
Robinson said he hasn’t noticed any snoring from his fellow Texan.
“Not that I’ve noticed,” he said. “But, you know, I sleep pretty heavily.”
Whenever Robinson has a question about what he needs to do during a specific play or, perhaps, even where the best places are to dine in the area, he knows he has a fellow Texas Longhorns teammate to lean on.
Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was a standout defensive end on Texas while Robinson was an up-and-coming linebacker on the squad.
“He helps me,” Robinson said. “I’ve been leaning on other guys in the locker room as well, but he helps me when I need to be helped and I can go to him and usually ask him anything I need.”
Robinson was a coveted outside linebacker prospect out of Plano East High School in Plano, Texas.
Rivals.com rated Robinson a four-star recruit, and he was the No. 4 outside linebacker prospect in his class.
He has, however, put on about 30 pounds of muscle since high school.
“That’s a throwback,” Robinson said when he saw the photo. “It just brings back memories of playing Friday night lights pretty much. “
Robinson described football as “king” in Texas.
“It’s almost like we get more respect than some other colleges in other states across the nation,” he said. “So everyone in the town is pretty much listening to the game and everybody cheers for the whole team.”
Five W’s and one H:
Who is your favorite football player of all-time?
“For me that’s kinda hard. I grew up Terrell Davis – that’s before I started playing defense. Guys that I think right now at my position that I like to watch, guys I will watch Ray Lewis of course, Patrick Willis, guys like that, Orakpo. Guys that I see on tv growing up in high school and college.’”
What is your favorite thing about using Twitter?
“For me, Twitter just allows you to keep up with everyone, just be able to keep up with your friends and see the funny things they post. That’s one of the things I like. When I get breaks in my system right now I get to look at my Twitter and see what’s going on in people’s lives.”
When did you get up this morning?
“7, 6:50 — something around there”
Where was your favorite place to play in the Big 12 other than at Texas?
“Stadium is probably the Red River Shootout obviously. Dallas, the Cotton Bowl. That’s the biggest rivalry game out there so y’know it’s a great atmosphere, not millions, but hundreds of thousands of fans gather at the fair too that’s really rowdy.”
Why did you wear No. 37 in high school and No. 1 at Texas?
“No. 37, they gave me 37 because of my brother – older brother. And then No. 11 I wore my last year in high school and I wanted to get 11 at Texas, but another linebacker had it, so I had 10. I retired 10 my redshirt year and I took No. 1.”
How good did this hit feel against Cal?
“I remember that, that was recent. That feels good man, …that’s a big back too, so to be able to get under his pads, lift him up and drive him to the ground feels pretty good.”
Go to training camp
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