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Raiders 2022: Little Amik Robertson showing big fight

3rd-year cornerback coming alive

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
TD, Amik
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This is the Amik Robertson that the previous Las Vegas Raiders regime envisioned he would be.

Former Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock selected the small, but playmaking Robertson in the fourth round out of Louisiana Tech in 2020. They thought he would become a big-time NFL playmaker.

But Robertson was slow to develop in his first two seasons, playing in just 18 games in his first two season. Yet, this year, under a new regime, Robertson has become a big part of the Raiders’ cornerback rotation. The reason was multiple injuries, but Robertson is earning himself a role on the Raiders’ defense.

He has an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Raiders’ first win of the season Sunday, over Denver.

New Raiders’ coach Josh McDaniels appreciates the fire and toughness Robertson plays with despite his small stature at 5-foot-8, 187 pounds.

“He’s kind of the epitome of the, I don’t know the phrase, ‘the size of the dog in the fight,’ and he doesn’t really know that he’s not 6-4, 200, you know what I mean? I would love every player that you coach to play the way that Amik plays,” McDaniels said. “He has a very short memory, and you have to have that as a defensive back. You can’t sit there and fuss about the last play. You got to go make the next one. He is tough as nails.

“And he plays hard on every play. So, he earns everything he gets out there, man, because he plays so hard with such great effort. Just really a pleasure to coach, a guy who brings it every day, wants to get better, does it in every area of the building – weight room, training room, takes care of himself, comes in with the right mindset. And he just plays his butt off. So, proud of him and excited that he had a good day yesterday. And again, he had a good day and gave up a play here or there, but again, that’s not something that’s going to really faze Amik. He’s learned how to deal with that at corner and comes back and really plays hard the next snap.”

McDaniels can’t wait to see Robertson get more turnovers to use his offensive-player like ball skills as he shown in his spectacular touchdown return Sunday.

“There was about six times yesterday where I thought he was going to get tackled and he kept squirting through there,” McDaniels said. “It looked like a kickoff or punt return once he got the ball. So, no, he hasn’t seen me yet today, but he might have the conversation and I might think about it too. Look, he’s fast. We all know he’s fast. He’s hard to bring down because he’s tough and he’s low to the ground. But no, I thought he did a good job of running with the ball once he got it.”