Re: K-Rob could serve jail time? (and when is his debut?)
Vikings: Koren Robinson out to make amends
Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
September 7, 2005 VIKE0907
He sat alone, lost in thought in a South Carolina treatment facility. During a rare moment when he could communicate with the outside world, Koren Robinson's cell phone rang. The display showed a Twin Cities area code. Vikings coach Mike Tice was calling.
"I was so happy to hear from him," Robinson recalled Tuesday. "In the situation that I was in, any bit of good news brightens your day. I guess it was just fate that he called when he did. It made my day and gave me even more motivation to get myself right."
The call led to a series of conversations that culminated Monday, when the wide receiver agreed to terms on a two-year contract less than a week after completing a 28-day alcohol treatment program. Robinson is expected to practice today and is scheduled to make his game debut Sept. 25 against New Orleans.
Robinson declined to discuss a Sept. 14 hearing in Kirkland (Wash.) Municipal Court stemming from a drunken driving charge that ultimately ended his tenure with the Seattle Seahawks. But in a wide-ranging interview late Tuesday, Robinson said he is sober and eager to earn the trust of his team.
"I know where I was headed and it wasn't a place I wanted to be," Robinson said. "That's the reason I [went for treatment]. I was embarrassing my family and I also disappointed myself. I looked at my situation and said, 'Where did I go wrong?' I know my parents didn't raise me like that. What I did, that really isn't me.
"Sometimes we get caught up in this lifestyle that we live. That's what I felt like I was doing. I made a bad decision and made mistakes. I'm also man enough to see my mistakes and be willing to do something about them."
Asked if he is an alcoholic, Robinson said: "I feel I've made some bad decisions with alcohol being involved. I don't really get into terminology."
Robinson was arrested May 6 in a Seattle suburb after an early morning traffic stop. His blood-alcohol content registered 0.191 percent. He pled guilty to driving under the influence July 18 and was sentenced to one day in jail with 364 days suspended.
But prosecutors reopened the case when officers smelled alcohol on his breath when he reported to jail. His attorney, Jon Scott Fox, acknowledged Tuesday that a longer sentence "is a possibility." But Fox said he will argue that Robinson's decision to enter the treatment program "is really quite monumental and will mitigate against any imposition of jail time."
Said Robinson: "I have a great legal team. Certainly they're doing the best job they can do. At the end of the day, hopefully everything will work out."
Vikings officials said Tuesday they have no concerns about Robinson's legal future.
"We've done our due diligence and we're comfortable with it," said Rob Brzezinski, vice president of football operations.
Robinson said he worked out every day during his treatment program, and indicated he needs less than a week to round into football shape.
Tice plans to use Robinson as a kickoff returner but would not speculate on his role beyond that. "We'll get Koren in and see what he does best," Tice said.
Robinson, meanwhile, said he spent much of his time in treatment thinking about his May 6 arrest. It came on the heels of a January promise to Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren to get sober; after several alcohol- related incidents during the 2004 season, Robinson sought treatment last winter and declared himself a new man during Seattle's April minicamp.
"I kept thinking how I could have hurt somebody or hurt myself," he said. "I'm so thankful and glad that no one got hurt. When I caught myself doing that, something had to change. That wasn't me as a person. I know something wasn't right in my head and my heart. Seeing that, looking in the mirror, I didn't like what I saw. Now I've got everybody looking at me and talking about me. They don't know Koren Robinson for the guy I am."
With the Vikings, Robinson will join a close friend in cornerback Brian Williams, a college teammate at North Carolina State, and an environment long known for forgiving players who have made public mistakes.
"Hopefully everything will be a clean slate here," Robinson said. "I feel like I have something to prove. I have to earn my teammates trust. I have to earn the coaches' trust. I have to earn the organization's trust, and I have to earn the fans' trust. I'm up for the challenge.
"I don't want to dwell on the past, but I have to always think about it. I don't want to experience that feeling or be in that place anymore."
The Vikings released receiver Kelly Campbell to make room for Robinson on the roster. Campbell missed the entire preseason because of a strained quadriceps muscle.
What we've got here is failure to communicate.