Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



On the Kansas City Chiefs' first offensive play of Friday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Alex Smith connected with wide receiver Tyreek Hill to progress 32 yards down the field. Hill was covered one-on-one by 49ers cornerback Rashard Robinson, who is a near-lock to be the team's number one cornerback in 2017.

Moments later, a short pass from Smith to running back Spencer Ware on third-and-six from the 49ers' 11-yard line put the Chiefs at the two. Ware evaded Robinson to gain more yardage on that play, setting up first-and-goal. Ware punched the football into the end zone on the next play, giving Kansas City an early lead.

On Monday, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh discussed Robinson's tough start and the progress he made during his limited playing time on Friday.



"When you look at the progression of what happened to Rashard during that game, the first play of the game, he's gung-ho, he's ready to roll, he's up there in press on Tyreke Hill who's the fastest receiver in the league, All-Pro," Saleh said. "He's excited, he gets beat. But, what I was most excited about, because corners get beat in this league, it happens, every single corner is going to get beat. But, not every corner can respond the way he did.

"If you look at the very next series, the very first play of that series he's up there again in press. He's ready to roll. He's ready to get hands on, play physical. He was actually in a very good position, which is why he earned that offensive pass interference penalty. The one that was called on the next play. Had they not pushed off, that would've either been incomplete or intercepted, in my mind.

"Moving forward, he has a back shoulder throw on him. The very next play he shows up in run support. Then the very next play after that, performing the exact same technique that he had on the third down play where he missed the tackle. It was the exact same technique. Very similar football plays, executed his technique little bit better and got himself an interception.

"For a young guy, 21-years-old (actually 22), to have all that happen to him and to show the resolve, the fight, and the dog that we've talked about with him, for me that stamped everything that Rashard's going to be for us. He's going to be a very good corner."

Robinson ended Friday's game in Kansas City with two tackles and an interception.

"Playing DB, you've got to have a short-term memory," Robinson said following Monday's practice. "You give up a pass, you've just got to make up for it. It's really just keeping your composure because, just like a boxer, sometimes you might get hit, but it's always about how you come back from it."