Denard Robinson ready to play any position in NFL

Denard Robinson ready to play any position in NFL

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Denard Robinson is willing to do whatever it takes to play in the NFL.

``I'm open to a lot of ideas,'' Robinson said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. ``I just want to make it one day. I hope that whatever team picks me utilizes my talents in whatever ways they want to do it.''

The former Michigan quarterback plans to travel on Friday to Mobile, Ala., to begin showing and telling teams in the league he's open-minded.

Robinson is expected to practice and play as a wide receiver at the Senior Bowl. He said taking snaps in a wildcat-style formation along with playing running back, returning kickoffs and punts are also options.

And, the 6-foot, 197-pound Robinson insists he's even willing to play cornerback - a position switch suggested by a former executive in the league - if an NFL team wants to move him to the other side of the ball.

``I'm up for whatever,'' he said. ``Why not?''

Robinson said he played cornerback sometimes at Deerfield Beach High School in Florida as a senior.

``If the other team had more than one good receiver, they'd put me at corner,'' he recalled. ``I was pretty good.''

He set an NCAA record for QBs with 4,495 yards rushing in his career, breaking the mark Pat White set at West Virginia from 2005-2008. At Michigan, only Mike Hart has run for more yards than Robinson did the previous four seasons.

Robinson said he plans to finish his degree this semester while training in Ann Arbor for the NFL draft in April.

He ran for 100 yards - for the 20th time in his career - on 23 carries in his finale with the Wolverines. He primarily played running back and also took snaps and lined up as a receiver in a loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

Nerve damage in his right elbow knocked him off the field Oct. 27 at Nebraska, keeping him out for the next two games and limiting his ability to throw during the final two games of the regular season and on New Year's Day.

Robinson had 10,776 yards of total offense, ranking sixth in Big Ten history. In the conference record books, he finished one spot lower than Indiana's Antwaan Randle El, who successfully made a transition from playing quarterback in college to receiver in the NFL after being drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2002 draft.

Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage recently said Robinson's athleticism, ball skills and speed compares to Randle El, who caught 370 for 4,467 yards and 15 touchdowns in his NFL career with Pittsburgh and Washington Redskins. Randle El also scored five times on punt returns and once off a kickoff.

NFL draft consultant and former Dallas Cowboys general manager Gil Brandt has said he'd draft Robinson to be a cornerback.

``A quarterback never wants to be told he's going to have to play another position, but I don't think he can play quarterback in the NFL,'' Brandt said last month. ``I do know teams are always looking for cornerbacks, and I think Robinson could do it because of his quickness and speed.

``But he'd have to want to do it to make it work.''

And, Robinson does, making it very clear that he's OK with being known as a former QB.

``I am just open to do whatever I've got to do to get a shot in the NFL,'' he said. ``It doesn't matter to me where I play. I just want to play.''


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Bradley Beal agrees to 2-year, $72 million extension with Wizards, per report

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Bradley Beal agrees to 2-year, $72 million extension with Wizards, per report

Bradley Beal has agreed to a 2-year, $72 million contract extension with the Washington Wizards, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.

Wojnarowski says the extension will take effect in the 2021-2022 season and includes a player option for the following season in 2022-2023 that guarantees $130 million over four years, meaning Beal will be ineligible for free agency for at least three seasons.

Beal's signing makes clear his commitment to the Wizards organization.

The reported agreement comes just days before the Oct. 21 deadline.


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The Redskins finally have a fullback again, and he's ready to pave the way in the run game

The Redskins finally have a fullback again, and he's ready to pave the way in the run game

For the first time since Darrel Young was contributing in the backfield from 2010-2015, the Redskins have a legitimate fullback on their active roster.

Michael Burton got the call from Washington on Sunday night in which they said they were interested in adding him, caught a flight on Monday, worked out for the team on Tuesday and, after signing his contract, took the field for his first practice on Wednesday. He's been a busy man lately, but in a conversation following that Wednesday practice, he used the word "excited" a handful of times to describe his current mood.

He should be feeling that way, too.

Burton's arrival is yet another commitment to running the football by interim coach Bill Callahan. The Redskins have been using Ryan Anderson in a pinch in short-yardage and goal-to-go situations as a lead blocker, but now, they have someone who's played the position in the NFL for multiple seasons. 

Under Callahan, Burton could very well have a role. 

"I think it can give the defense different looks," Burton said of fullbacks. "I think they can do a lot of different things, whether you start us out wide and you bring us in, that can kind of be a tell to what the defense is doing. It just adds another blocker from the backfield. It makes it a little more difficult for the linebackers to fit. We can create more creases. Obviously, I'm a big fullback fan."

Jay Gruden often spoke about how he'd like to keep one on his final rosters, yet he never found room in recent seasons. But when backup tight end Jerome Cunningham was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, Burton was chosen to take his place.

Of course, a huge chunk of the league continues to emphasize the spread and speedy skill-players and attacking defenses in the air. 6-foot, 240-pounders aren't exactly in high-demand.

That is precisely why Burton feels like he can be a sneaky asset for the Redskins.

"They don't see it in practice all the time," he explained. "When you play that team that hasn't seen it, it's difficult to prepare for that in a week... I think it just adds another element to the offense."

Now, it remains to be seen whether Burton is long for the Burgundy and Gold. These kinds of mid-season acquisitions are often gone before their lockers are fully set up. 

However, with Callahan in charge and Adrian Peterson being a featured piece again, perhaps Burton can become effective and beloved like Young and Mike Sellers were for the organization. He's not worried about that, though. He's instead focused on much simpler goals.

"If Coach Callahan wants to get the run game going, I take pride in that," he said. "I'm going to put that on my shoulders every single day to make sure we have a successful run game."