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Robinson's comeback could kick off

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By TOM SILVERSTEIN
    tsilverstein@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: Oct. 25, 2007

    Green Bay - Receiver Koren Robinson got a second chance when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated him last week after a yearlong suspension and now he's hoping for another when the Green Bay Packers play Monday night at Denver.

    When he joined the Packers after the first week of the season last year, Robinson was handed the team's primary kickoff return duties. In the four games before his suspension came down, he averaged only 21.1 yards per return and was not the same guy who was named to the Pro Bowl as a kickoff returner the year before.

    Now back from suspension, Robinson appears to be in the same position as a year ago, poised to take over the kickoff return duties, but needing to prove himself to a vastly different special teams unit. All Robinson can do is hope his impact is as significant as it was with the Minnesota Vikings in 2005, when he electrified their special teams.

    "I was just trying to play, get the ball in my hands some kind of way," Robinson recalled of his first days with the Vikings. "They said they needed a kickoff returner and so I got back there, and with my talent I guess I showed everybody else on the kickoff return, if you block and give me a crease we can break it.

    "As the season wore on, we got more and more confident. Everybody got confident. I don't know if I had a lot of energy when I went out there, but everybody looked forward to being on kickoff return. They liked it because any given minute we could go."

    On Thursday, Robinson worked with the No. 1 kickoff return unit, but after dropping two attempts, he certainly didn't send a message that he was ready for prime time. Still, Robinson has two more days of practice to show coach Mike McCarthy and special teams coach Mike Stock that putting him on the unit would not present a risk.

    It means catching the ball consistently.

    "I was just too loose," Robinson said after practice. "It really was (about) setting up and catching the ball. (I was) trying to catch it here (at my side). I hadn't caught a kickoff since last year, so I have to concentrate on my technique and make sure I have the ball right here (in my chest) before I take off. After a while, then you can do it your own way."

    Before the Packers activate Robinson, they have to make sure he's ready for contact. This was his third practice since being suspended Oct. 18 of last year for violating the NFL's substance-abuse program, and he is still in transition from working out in a gym to getting worked over on a practice field.

    The worst thing that could happen to the Packers would be if Robinson coughed up the ball at a critical time against the Broncos. After seeing running back Vernand Morency fumble on one of his first plays after a long absence for a knee injury, they have the right to be nervous.

    Which is why Robinson's muffs in practice didn't go unnoticed.

    "You hope he doesn't do that," McCarthy said. "That's just where he is. He's got to knock the rust off. He can't get enough work in those situations, ball drills, kickoff drills."

    To get him ready for action, McCarthy had Robinson run through the ball security drill - where two players try to pry the ball free as you take off running and then a gauntlet of players tries to poke it out as you finish - three or four times. After practice, Robinson fielded additional kickoffs to get his technique right.

    McCarthy doesn't seem hesitant to use Robinson, but he said Robinson was sore after his first two days of practice and "wasn't sharp" yet.

    Kickoff returns are probably the quickest way to get something out of the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Robinson, because they mostly require natural physical ability. Robinson was the No. 9 overall selection in the 2001 draft for a reason and the Packers want to tap into that.

    "He has always been good with the ball," said general manager Ted Thompson, who was running Seattle's draft room when the Seahawks selected Robinson. "He's a big kid. He's strong. He's not a power-I back or anything like that, but if you hit him around the legs he doesn't go down easily.

    "If you watch him play, he's quicker and faster when he has the ball than when he doesn't."

    If Robinson is active against the Broncos, the coaches have the option of pairing him with their current kickoff returner, Tramon Williams, whose 23.2-yard average ranks 24th in the NFL. The speedy Williams has had returns of 30, 42 and 65 yards but you don't necessarily want him blocking if the kick goes to Robinson, because he weighs only 182 pounds.

    Either way, Robinson thinks he has the trust of Stock, who will help make the final decision on his status Monday. Now he must convince McCarthy.

    "You just need to be smart," McCarthy said. "I don't think it would be smart to throw him out there and play him for 60 snaps. I don't think that's what you're looking for. If he's ready to go and we feel it's in our best interest to put him out there then we will. I want to take the full week and watch him practice

    "I want to see how his body responded to the first two days. I thought he looked OK. I'll know better once I watch the film. He's doing a lot of good things. He just needs to play. He just needs to practice."
     
  2. umair

    umair Cheesehead

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    good artilce, i hope he starts monday.
     
  3. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i hope he's ready to start monday
     
  4. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I hope the right decision is made. Don't rush him. And if he IS ready, give him a shot.

    I predict a KR fumble by Koren. I have a bad feeling.
     
  5. CalifPacker

    CalifPacker Cheesehead

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    A few more catches and he will be fine...
     
  6. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    Lets wish him the best of luck and not judge his performance right away.
     
  7. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    Nodody here is judging his performance. I know he's an amazing player. amazing. and i hope he can knock the rust off and play football very soon. With the God-given abilities he has, i feel confident that he'll be ready very soon.
     
  8. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Or bring up Moss if he has rust.
     
  9. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    :roll: Trom.....i just don't know about you!!!! :lol:
     
  10. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    Lets drop it eh?
     
  11. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    that's like me telling someone they post too much.
     
  12. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Robinson will be fine. Might be rusty the first game or two, but he's hungry. I'd rather have someone out there who wants to make something happen. Really looking forward to his return.
     

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