NOTEBOOK: New Vikings Teammates Robinson and Cousins ‘Go Way Back’

EAGAN, Minn. — An old connection helped land Aldrick Robinson in Minnesota.

The Vikings signed the wide receiver on Monday after Robinson spent the first five seasons of his career with Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta and San Francisco.

That meant being on the same team as Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins back in Washington from 2012-2014.

“We go way back,” Robinson said Wednesday. “We played together in Washington. We have a history together.

“He’s one of the main reasons I’m here,” Robinson added. “He told the guys that I was available, and I just did my part.”

Cousins said he was excited to have a former teammate join his new team in Minnesota.

“I like him as a player, I had a great rapport with him in Washington,” Cousins said. “It’s tough to just jump in and pick it up in Week 3 like you’ve been here since April. That’s hard to do, but we’re going to get him caught up as fast as we can and look forward to having him here.

“He’s a great teammate, he’ll be great for our locker room, great to have a veteran presence around, and hopefully he can contribute a great deal for us,” Cousins added.

Robinson, who has 69 career catches for 1,191 yards and nine touchdowns, acknowledged that he’ll have to get caught up with the offensive playbook.

“Oh yeah, it’s definitely challenging, a lot of nuances to the play calling and terminology that you have to pick up on, but you’ve just got to see it, hear it, be in there and get the hang of it,” Robinson said. “I don’t think it will take too long. A lot of these plays I’ve seen before.

“The routes are just a little different depth-wise,” Robinson added. “But once I get used to the terminology, I’ll pick it up pretty fast.”

Quickness is certainly a part of Robinson’s game.

The 29-year-old recorded a time of 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, which was the fourth-fastest time among all players that year.

A former track star, Robinson also finished in the top 10 in the vertical jump (40 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 6 inches), 3-cone drill (6.65 seconds), and 20-yard shuttle (4.09 seconds).

“He’s got great speed, he’s got great movement skills,” Cousins said. “He does a good job athletically. That’s a big reason why he’s had such a long career.”

Mac’s first impression

Mackensie Alexander made his 2018 debut Sunday in Green Bay, playing 54 of 77 defensive snaps (70 percent).

That was the third-most among cornerbacks behind starters Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes as Alexander took the majority of the snaps in the slot.

Alexander on Wednesday summed up his first action of the season.

“I had a good first game. Did a lot of things well,” Alexander said. “But that’s what I love about football and my position and my job — there’s always going to be some things you want to tweak and get better at, and you have to find ways to get better.

“You have to challenge yourself and put the work in so you can master your game more and more,” Alexander added. “It was a solid game, but I have some tweaks [to make]. I made two mental mistakes, so I have to get better.”

Alexander alluded to a play early in the third quarter where he lost track of Jimmy Graham, allowing the tight end to get loose for a 34-yard gain.

“Bad eyes on that play. Great call but bad eyes on my part. As long as you realize it, you can fix those things and you can keep getting better.”

Alexander later rebounded to make a big play on Minnesota’s final defensive snap of the game.

With Green Bay facing third-and-4 from the Vikings 40-yard line, Alexander blitzed off the edge to sack Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

It was the first career sack for Alexander, a second-round pick in 2016.

“Whatever the call is, you want to just do your job and make plays for the defense. That’s what it’s all about,” Alexander said. “You always love a call like that. I just had to make sure I did my job and was playing assignment-ball that play.

“It was a fortunate play, and it helped us knock them out of field goal position,” Alexander added. “It helped out, for sure.”

View practice images from Wednesday, September 19 as the Vikings prepare for the Buffalo Bills.

Injury Reports

For the Vikings: Rashod Hill (foot), David Morgan (knee), Marcus Sherels (ribs), Dalvin Cook (hamstring) and Everson Griffen (knee) did not participate. Pat Elflein (ankle/shoulder), Matt Wile (wrist), Mackensie Alexander (ankle/thumb) and Holton Hill (ankle) were full participants.

For the Bills: Lorenzo Alexander (rest), Shaq Lawson (hamstring) and Kyle Williams (rest) did not participate. Kelvin Benjamin (hip), Phillip Gaines (elbow), Taron Johnson (shoulder), Ray-Ray McCloud III (knee), LeSean McCoy (rib) and Taiwan Jones (head) were limited.

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