CARDINALS CORNER

Robbie Anderson learned to ‘grind at a new level’ from Cardinals’ Jefferson

Oct 19, 2022, 4:10 PM

Arizona Cardinals WR Robbie Anderson (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Cardinals WR Robbie Anderson (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — It’s been a season of change for new Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Robbie Anderson.

The former Carolina Panther has seen different quarterbacks, is playing for a new team with a new scheme and even changed his first name over the last handful of months.

A lot like his reasoning behind the name change from Robby to Robbie, the wideout is hoping his time in the desert ends up looking “better on paper” than where he just came from.

While Anderson is getting that fresh start many believed he needed, especially with how his last game as a Panther transpired, he’s got a friendly face in the wide receiver room in coach Shawn Jefferson.

It’s a reunion for Anderson, who credits Jefferson in helping the wide receiver find that other gear in his fourth NFL season with the New York Jets in 2019.

“I’m excited about that,” Anderson said of playing for Jefferson again on Wednesday. “My last year in New York, he really showed me how to really grind at a new level.

“I took that to Carolina and that’s what really helped me develop my work ethic to the prestige that I feel like it is now and will continue to do so.”

After putting up his second-best season at the time during his one year with Jefferson, Anderson topped his career charts in his first season with the Panthers behind 95 catches and 1,096 yards. He also scored three touchdowns.

The wideout is hoping to emulate that same success in Arizona. With Jefferson’s guidance and lining up opposite DeAndre Hopkins, who is set to make his 2022 debut Thursday against the New Orleans Saints, Anderson has a real shot of doing just that.

And that’s not to mention the opportunity Anderson has to make a serious impact in a sputtering offense with the Cardinals’ leading pass catcher, Marquise Brown, sidelined for at least the next month by a foot injury suffered in Week 6.

Possessing similar speed and a few more inches on Brown, Anderson provides a big target that can get down the field in a hurry — he has a career average of 13.3 yards per catch. His style of play should fit in nicely given what this offense needs from its No. 2 option.

It might just take a week to really see what he can bring to the unit.

Thanks to the team’s quick turnaround for Thursday Night Football, Anderson has been given a handful of plays to dial in on since he reported to the team on Monday. One practice day and two walkthroughs likely didn’t help move things along like they would have in a traditional week or preparation.

“It’s a quick week and I want to be able to master my craft, but it’s not a normal week, so I’m just trying to pick up everything they kind of selected for me to learn and master that as I can,” Anderson said.

“It looks like a fun offense and creative for people to do what they’re best at,” the wide receiver added. “I’m just excited to contribute and do what I’m best at and help us get to where the goal is.”

Whether it’s three, eight or 15 plays, Anderson is focused on making the most of his opportunities and proving to himself, his family and his new teammates what he knows he’s capable of.

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