ATLANTA — By the time the city of Atlanta settles into its daily routine on Friday, the score of the Falcons’ 23-17 win over the Washington Redskins will be mostly forgotten. Wins and losses in preseason action don’t matter a whole mess.
What’s more important though are positive first impressions from a slew of first-time Falcons.
Rookie linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones made memorable inaugural appearances. Both looked as fast in game situations as they did at the combine and on film from college. Rookie wide receiver J.D. McKissic provided highlight-reel footage right out of the halftime gate when he returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter 101 yards for a touchdown. It was his first professional touch of the football.
But no Atlanta player participating in his first Falcons game did more to open eyes than wide receiver Aldrick Robinson.
Julio Jones mentioned Robinson by name earlier in the week at training camp, saying he could be another deep threat for this Falcons team. The fourth-year receiver out of Southern Methodist responded with three grabs for 118 yards. Two of his receptions were logged as explosive plays: one for 47 yards and another netted 68 yards.
“Coming from Julio, he’s a good deep-threat guy,” said Robinson. “So coming from him that means a lot.”
What might mean more to this coaching staff are the adjustments Robinson made during the game. On the 68-yard completion, Robinson said he saw the ball in the air and they way Matt Schaub approached the throw and knew he had to come back for it to make the play. That was a big-time adjustment considering most inexperienced players would have been upset the ball didn’t hit them in stride.
Not only did Robinson take a workmanlike approach and come back for the ball to fight for the reception, he admitted that he “kind of outran him [Schuab] a little bit.”