In Kirk Cousins’ second career start, he showed some early flashes of the franchise quarterback he would eventually become. On December 15, 2013, Cousins threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-26 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. His biggest throw of that game went to receiver Aldrick Robinson.
After bringing him in for a workout last week, the Minnesota Vikings signed Robinson, who had four catches, including a 62-yard reception, back on that December day in 2013.
“Me and Kirk, we go way back,” Robinson said. “We have history together. He’s one of the main reasons why I’m here also. He tells all the guys that I was available, and I did my part.”
Robinson has been a role player on several teams, catching 20 passes for the 2016 Atlanta Falcons and 19 with San Francisco 49ers last season.
“I like him as a player,” Cousins said. “I had a great rapport with him in Washington. It’s tough to just jump in Week 3 and pick it up like you’ve been here since April. That’s hard to do, but we’re going to get him caught up as fast as we can and look forward to having him here. He’s a great teammate; will be great for our locker room, a veteran presence to have around and hopefully he can contribute on the field for us.”
The 5-foot-10 receiver, who ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL Combine, was caught off guard when he was let go by the 49ers.
“It was definitely a whirlwind because I am very close with those guys out in San Francisco,” Robinson said. “I had a lot of emotions with them. I’ve been with those guys forever. It was a tough time for me but I got through it. When Minnesota called, it got my spirits up. I went out there, but my best foot forward and now I’m here.”
It’s unclear how quickly Robinson will become a part of the offense, but the Vikings are looking for more help at the receiver position. While Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been their usual selves in the first two weeks, the Vikings have gotten just four catches on 10 targets to other receivers. Nine of those targets have gone to Laquon Treadwell, who has four drops, and the other went to Stacy Coley, who the Vikings waived.
So if offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is looking for Robinson to step right into the offense, he’s got a lot to catch up on in short order.
“Knowing about football helps,” Robinson said. “Knowing routes, concepts, being able to relate it to offenses that you’ve been in previously. Using terms that you’ve had previously in the offense that you’re learning until you understand it, you know it, until it’s your language now. I’ve been doing that, learning the offense, it’s coming well, it’s a West Coast offense, that helps.”
Because of his speed, Robinson has often been a deep target, averaging 17.3 yard per reception during his career.
“It’s a good thing going here,” Robinson said. “It’s a good group of guys. I stepped into the receiving room and instantly I see how these guys work. I love it around here already and I’ve only been here one week…I just want to show them that I’m a hard worker.”