Once formerly a Washington Redskin, Aldrick Robinson made sure to catch up with some old friends before last Thursday's game. Between. His former teammates heard he was having a good camp, and, being a confident man, Robinson told them he'd make some big catches during the preseason opener. Trent Williams, a veteran offensive tackle, liked that prediction, so he wagered a bet with those who disagreed.
Suffice it to say, Robinson made Williams look good.
The Southern Methodist alum put on a show at the Georgia Dome, catching three passes for 118 yards — the longest being a 68-yard reception that set up a Brandon Wilds touchdown run. He also made a 47-yard grab to put the Falcons in field goal range.
As someone who spent 2015 on a futures contract with Baltimore, Robinson, 27, entered training camp knowing it would take a lot of work to earn a roster spot. And he made quite a statement in his Falcons debut.
"It was big for me," Robinson said. "I've been making a lot of big plays down the field at practice, and it was good to transition into the game."
Indeed, Robinson has performed well during practices, where he's displayed reliable hands and had good timing with Atlanta's quarterbacks. He's looked comfortable in the scheme, too, which should come as no surprise: Robinson spent four years learning Kyle Shanahan's offense in Washington.
Shanahan's system has changed over the years, but with a strong understanding of the playbook, Robinson joined the Falcons with an easier learning curve than most newcomers.
"It helps a lot," Robinson said. "Knowing the plays, it helps you play fast. Knowing that offense already, I was able to transition better. It was easy for me."
Although Atlanta has a deep ground of wide receivers, Robinson can carve out a role as a vertical threat. Matt Ryan finished in the middle of the pack last year in completions of 20-plus yards, and adding Robinson, someone with a lot of straight-line speed, can aid the Falcons in that area.
"He's definitely a great guy,'' Julio Jones said. "He's a great deep ball threat, great speed, great hands. He's going to be another addition to the team down the field."