Now the team's starting strong safety, Trenton Robinson's opportunity came after a solid preseason. He knows, though, that there's still plenty of room to grow from here.
Trenton Robinson always prepares as if he's going to start and have a sizable role in the defense's plan each week.
A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins defensive back Trenton Robinson during the 2014 season.
While he's been more of a situational player over the last few seasons for the Redskins, that all changed last Sunday when Duke Ihenacho came out of the game with what was later confirmed to be a season-ending wrist injury.
Robinson had been listed as the team's backup free safety behind Dashon Goldson, but after an impressive preseason, he earned the right to be the next man up at strong safety.
"I think he's got a good confidence, No. 1," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Robinson. "He's got another year under his belt. He's picked up the system pretty well and he's fast. So, he's got a little bit more speed."
Some were surprised by the decision to play Robinson ahead of Jeron Johnson at strong safety.
Johnson was expected to battle Ihenacho for a spot in the starting lineup from the get-go, but a hamstring injury prevented him from appearing in a bulk of training camp practices.
"Anytime you have an injury like that, not only does it set you back as a player but it also gives somebody else all your reps," Gruden said. "It lets them play well and gives us a good look at them. That's kind of what happened with Trenton."
Still, the team will lean on Johnson at times, too.
"I think both of them are valuable guys back there for us," Gruden said. "Both will probably see the field. It's just right now if you're calling a starter, it would be Trenton."
Signed by the Redskins in the middle of the 2013 season, Robinson is now the longest tenured safety on the roster.
Robinson recorded his first career interception last season against the Jacksonville Jaguars and has 44 career tackles to his credit.
Whenever he's out on the field – as evident by his eight tackles in the season opener – Robinson plays fluid, just looking to "ball out" whenever his chances come.
"I'm going to be ready, because I've been waiting on these types of opportunities my whole career," he said. "My number got called, I just was ready."
As he approaches the rest of the season with a bigger role, Robinson said it will be key to notice and fix any mistakes he makes out on the field, seeking guidance from teammates and putting in extra time in the film room to ensure that happens.
"There's a lot to learn from," he said. "But I saw some good, I can take from my game and continue to just grow and get better. I'm super excited, this is a great opportunity for me and I have the support of my teammates, the support of my coaches. For me, it's just awesome, they gave me a shot. I'm just happy that I finally got the shot that I've been working so hard for."