Commanders head coach Ron Rivera feels Brian Robinson Jr. looks promising.
Rivera spoke with the media Wednesday including much about Brian Robinson.
“It was good to have him out there. He looked solid. I mean, he has a little bit of ways to go. Conditioning will be a question. That’s for sure. But just watching him, his retention, his recall looked pretty good. We did some of the things that he does well. He was out there doing them. It looked good. It was all promising.”
On what it means for the team:
“Yes, it will. The biggest thing is we have to take a look at how he handled today, tomorrow morning. Come in, see how he is, see how he feels. That’s always a good indicator when a guy get his first real workout is how he is reacting the next day. As we get into practices again like he did today, then we will see if there is any drop off. We have the GPS tracking that will be able to give us his speeds, just to see where they are. That’s something that we will most definitely take a look at because I know the trainers and the strength and conditioning staff will be looking at those.”
How has Robinson been mentally, spiritually, emotionally since the shooting?
“Well, I think his mental frame of mind is really good. I do. One thing we talked about is about how fortunate he was, and he understands that he gets that and I think it’s kind of given him a little bit more insight as to every moment is precious. Being back out here on the field today, you could see the joy in which he was running around. I mean, he really wanted to do more. We had to slow him down a little bit because what the doctors had prescribed and trainers was go out, do a workout, do a couple of series on the side with the strength conditioning staff and trainers and then when he finished up, they would allow him to come over and work a little bit. He finished up and in great shape. So, he came over, they allowed us to put him in a couple of smattering plays on each period. He took those plays, looked pretty good at it and as I said, because he did so much work, we’ll see how he is tomorrow. But I think right now I think he’s in a good place and for us as a football team, it’s good to see him back out there.”
What was going through Rivera’s own mind seeing Robinson on the field today:
“I was just trying to see if there’s any difference or if he’s favoring anything or if he’s concerned about something. I mean, that’s all part of it. Sometimes the guys come back from injuries and you can see that there’s a little hesitance and if we have any hopes of him playing soon, you can’t have that hesitance. It’s funny because, he started kind of gradually. I didn’t notice anything different, but it’s just kind of a gradual buildup and the more and more he did, the more and more confident I think he got in it. Then there were a couple of running plays today where there was a couple of cuts where he had to stick that leg in the ground and really come off of it and he did. That’s one of the things that when we watched the tape today us as coaches and I know the training staff will be looking for anything that might be something that would be concerning. We’ll see how he goes through those reps that he got. I wanna say of the reps we had, I think he probably got about eight, maybe 10, somewhere in there. He did pop in and take a couple reps for the show team, which we had to tell him, no, no, You gotta keep an eye on him because he was having a lot of fun.”
Did Rivera feel the need to address the team about Robinson’s return?
“No, there was no need to. I mean we’ve seen him around. He’s been out there. He’s back there on the field showing them that, ‘hey, I’m back’. I’m working to get myself ready to play and we’ll see how it goes.”
How do you think Robinson and Antonio Gibson can compliment each other:
“We know Brian’s strengths and in terms of his running style and the type of game he brings. We know what Antonio’s strengths are and I think also, not just his running and you guys have seen it now is him in space catching the ball. A guy that size being with that kind of receiving ability, route running ability presents a challenge for a linebacker matchup, maybe even a safety matchup. So there is an opportunity to have some compliments to it as far as when one guy’s in and then the other guy rotates in, then you throw in a JD McKissick into that mix and you’ve got a good group of backs that rotate through and you try to find the matchups that you can exploit.”
Did you notice Rivera did not mention Jonathan Williams, who really ran hard and strong last week against Dallas?