PHILADELPHIA--Preseason openers were made for Matt Hasselbeck in 1998 and the same could be said for Josh Robinson in 2015.
As a sixth-round pick in 1998, Hasselbeck knew preseason games that are often tuned out by fans could very well be the difference in determining if one would see the "real" action come September.
Some 17 years after Hasselbeck got his first taste of professional football, there was Robinson, the Colts sixth-round pick from 2015, making the most of his first playing time, even if all the eyes weren't watching.
The most important ones took notice though, in a game where young guys like Robinson can show their potential, according to Hasselbeck.
On Sunday, Robinson sparked the Colts lone touchdown drive of the day, rumbling in from nine yards out and finishing the day as the team's leading rusher.
"Josh, obviously, did a nice job and that was really encouraging to see that," Chuck Pagano said after the game.
After missing several practice days in Anderson due to a sore hamstring, Robinson returned early last week and offered a glimpse of his "bowling ball" running style.
In a goal line period up at Training Camp, a Robinson touchdown run included a thumping of pads with linebacker Amarlo Herrera that had those watching take notice.
On Sunday, finally in game action, the compactly built Robinson had 44 rushing yards on 10 carries.
"I knew as soon as (Robinson) got into the game he was going to have some nice runs because that's the type of runner he is," fellow rookie Phillip Dorsett said.
"It was nice to see him go out there and work."
The reps for Robinson in the preseason opener came as the team's "backup" running back. Frank Gore and Boom Herron both sat out Sunday's contest in Philadelphia so normal "third stringer" Zurlon Tipton slid into the starting role.
Going forward, the race to be the team's third running back (behind Gore and Herron) appears to be wide open between Tipton, Robinson and potentially Vick Ballard (did not play Sunday).
Robinson wasn't the only rookie who flashed during the preseason opener.
-Dorsett debuted with four catches (two receptions on the first two plays of the game) for 51 yards, but it was a second-quarter fumble that had his complete attention afterwards.
-The Stanford duo of DE-Henry Anderson and NT-David Parry had their disruptive moments along the defensive line.
-Fourth-round pick Clayton Geathers saw plenty of action (four tackles) as a base safety, where as he's expected to be used as more of a dime linebacker come regular season.
-Then there was sixth-round pick Amarlo Herrera who led the Colts with five tackles, and had a second-quarter interception.
Added up, and there were some positives to take away from what the Colts 2015 rookie class showed on Sunday.
Like any good rookie though, Robinson summed up his (and the entire rookie class) mindset properly.
"It felt pretty good, but a win would have felt better," the running back said.
"I'm just trying to make my name out here, win a job."