1. Aldrick Robinson is anxious for another chance to return punts. He attempted to return two last summer, but he had never done it in college and fumbled both his opportunities vs. Pittsburgh in the preseason. But Robinson worked a lot on catching punts while on the practice squad last season. He said he catches 10 punts a day now in practice (they rotate the returners).
“Last preseason was kind of tough,” he said. “But I’ve learned how to catch the ball. I’m better at catching it and feel more comfortable. I’m way better than I was.”
Last summer he was trying to make plays before he even had the ball.
“It’s just being more comfortable back there with people running at you,” Robinson said. “You’ve got nerves going off and then you’re trying to judge the ball. Now I can judge the ball better and get up under it and catch it better.”
He’s not sure he’ll get a chance to return punts Saturday. But if he does, Robinson needs a much stronger showing. His hands have been OK at receiver in camp; he’s dropped a few, but he’s also looked faster than in 2011. Robinson credits an improved knowledge of the offense – at SMU, the route concepts were completely different than they are with the Redskins.
“I’m way quicker off the line,” he said.
If that’s the case then Robinson needs to continue showing it if he wants to gain an edge for one of the last receiver spots.
2. How much the rookie O-linemen still need to learn, especially when it comes to combination blocks. The guards, Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis, had issues with this at times. In some cases it was not getting enough of the lineman before peeling off, leaving a teammate in a bad spot.
“Our defense plays it a certain way where they stretch with us,” LeRibeus said. “Buffalo didn’t do that. Their linebackers sit back and watch. We had to change it up a little bit and we’ll have to do it against Chicago, adjusting on the fly like that. … When they’re going laterally you can fit up on people a lot better.”
3. The No. 1 thing running back Tristan Davis is working on? His vision. Considering Davis is one of the Redskins’ fastest backs, if not the fastest, it makes you wonder why he’s not more of a threat. But it also shows that running back is about way more than speed. Evan Royster would never win a footrace vs. Davis, but his vision is good. Davis is trying to improve his.
“Like coach [Bobby] Turner said, ‘Your greatest assets are your eyes,’” Davis said. “If you can’t see it doesn’t matter how fast you are, you’ll get to the hole and it’ll be closed or you’ll always miss a cut if you can’t use your eyes. I’m doing a lot better. When I was first back off the PUP list I was having trouble with my reads.”