Why Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson is primed for a big year



August 7, 2018 - 10:16 AM

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Demarcus Robinson knows what it’s like to haul in a touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes.
A year ago, Mahomes hit Robinson for a 28-yard score in the Chiefs’ fourth preseason game, connecting with the wide receiver as he out-ran the Titans’ secondary across the goal line.
Call it a preview of what may be more to come in the 2018 regular season.
“I think it’s going to be a good year for us,” Robinson said. “Just being good with Pat in the locker room, during the offseason, and doing things outside of football — like being a great teammate or going to Top Golf — it just builds the chemistry way better when you get on the field.”
Robinson, a Florida product taken in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, is primarily running with the second-team offense in training camp. But as he builds off momentum captured in last year’s AFC wild card loss, he figures to be a factor in a young, explosive offense.
“We are moving Demarcus around a lot of different positions,” coach Andy Reid said. “He is doing a nice job with it. It’s important when you’re in that role, and this is kind of new for him, that you are always going back and reviewing and staying up on it because we are still doing our installs here. But he is handling it very well, and I am proud of him for that.
“I think he’s built on (last season). It’s a nice little foundation that he has. He knows he can play, but he knows he’s got to continue to grow at that position. Wide receivers take time. It takes a little time to learn, but he is pounding through that.”
Robinson finished last year on a high note, catching the first touchdown pass of his NFL career right before halftime of the wild card loss to Tennessee. He also caught all four targets for 57 yards after tight end Travis Kelce went down with a concussion in the second quarter of that game.
Seven months later, Robinson is still surfing the wave of energy gained from that performance.
“It gave me a momentum boost coming into camp,” he said recently. “It showed what I can do during game time and playoff-wise. It just let the quarterbacks and coaches know that I can do the same thing coming into this year.”
This year, Robinson is being tested at multiple receiver spots. Though he has been used as an outside receiver most often, Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy have used him in the inside and outside during camp.
For Robinson, who only had 21 receptions last season, adding another position to his repertoire gives him more of those coveted opportunities to get on the field.
“Usually I only play one position, which would be the single receiver,” Robinson said. “But now they’re putting me in the offense more — getting me into the slot and things like that. There’s definitely more of an opportunity to get the ball and showcase my skill level.”
The 6-foot-1, 203-pound receiver is making a name for himself in his third Chiefs camp — something that isn’t easy to do with explosive weapons like Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins also in the receiving corps.
Robinson, who said he should be in contention for the second-fastest guy on the team behind Hill, had a couple of impressive catches against first-string cornerback Steven Nelson during last Thursday’s practice, including a one-handed grab and another catch made over Nelson after Robinson completed a solid route.
“Demarcus Robinson has done everything he’s been asked to do, and he’s starting to show a level of comfort that really translates to him being able to make a lot of plays,” fellow receiver Chris Conley said. “He’s a guy who moves around really well. He’s got good vision as a ball carrier. They’ve had a lot of opportunities to utilize that. As he continues to get comfortable, he’s going to keep getting better.”

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