After the first half of the game there weren’t too many bright spots, but one that stood out was rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson. The rookie recorded five tackles and three pass break ups, all three of which were extremely tight coverage on well-thrown passes.
Robinson received notice during the week that he would start as a result of Jimmie Ward’s being out with a quad injury. Head coach Chip Kelly spoke about Robinson’s week at practice as the main reason for the promotion.
He just had a really good week of practice. We kind of put it on practice and then the other thing is we asked [CB Keith] Reaser to play some nickel. So, we’re kind of asking Rease to kind of go back and fourth. So, with Rashard, we just left him at one spot and obviously like we said we were going to watch how the week of training went and he did a really nice job in the week of training. We felt like he deserved the opportunity. I thought he stepped up and did some really nice things today.
The 4th round pick from LSU is not short on confidence. From his first press conference when he arrived he has had a swagger about him. He built up a healthy rivalry with Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington during training camp that kept them all on their toes.
Robinson spoke to the media about his first start in the NFL:
It seemed like you had a pretty solid game with a lot of pass breakups.
Yes, I felt like I had a pretty solid game. I had some things, I probably could’ve helped the defense more, but I had the vets, all the safeties and the linebackers, everybody was communicating which helped me get settled in faster. I used it to get settled in. I felt good about my performance.
What do you think happened after the call against San Francisco 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt? It seemed like that changed things in the game.
It was a sudden change. That’s the thing about the game of football, sudden change. We had a good defensive drive going, penalty happens, so that kind of kills the juice a little bit. Stuff happens, but we’ve just got to keep standing together as a team and look forward.
When did you find out you were starting this for this game?
It was earlier in the week, actually towards the end of the week
Was it nice to be challenged a little bit, you haven’t had a ball thrown your way.
Yeah, because the first few games were kind of boring. You know, going out there being able to compete for a ball, it was a good feeling.
In terms of the play in the end zone, it looked like a pretty good pass and Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler almost had it but you knocked it away.
Yeah, just using my tools and everything that coach taught us, the whole week of practice. You knew he had to be doing something to the outside based on how he was lined up. Just playing fundamentals, going out there and attacking the ball, and being aggressive.
Was it a confidence builder for you?
Yeah but I got confidence, confidence is always going to be there you know? Just gotta go out there and keep playing ball.
What has this week of prep been like for you?
I think it’s one of my best weeks of practice. I had a lot of vets getting me comfortable with the defense and running with the ones. Running in with the ones, getting acclimated to everything, it was pretty good. I felt good about it.
What did you go down with earlier in the game?
Just an ankle. It was nothing major.
Just a tweak?
Yeah, that’s it.