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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    Posted on Sat, Aug. 12, 2006

    [size=18px]VIKINGS: Sober and bulletproof[/size]

    Robinson fills need for Vikings

    By Don Pierson
    Chicago Tribune


    MANKATO, Minn. - Koren Robinson spent his last training camp in alcohol rehabilitation, so the Minnesota Vikings' physical camp under new coach Brad Childress is welcome relief, not to mention shorter than the 28 days Robinson spent in a South Carolina treatment facility.

    The Vikings are rebuilding everything, starting with their uniforms. Robinson is rebuilding his life.

    "Still working on it, you know?" he said Thursday.

    The Seattle Seahawks gave up on the big wide receiver after too many missed meetings and opportunities during four years, but the Vikings signed him four days before last season began. Nobody could have imagined he would turn out to be one of the few happy stories of their year.

    Beset by image problems stemming mainly from a raunchy boat cruise that proved the beginning of the end for quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings nevertheless finished 9-7. Robinson, returning kicks for the first time in his career, did it so well he joined safety Darren Sharper as the only Vikings to make the Pro Bowl.

    Teammates also elected Robinson as winner of the Ed Block Courage Award that each NFL team presents to a player who overcomes adversity. The media voted Robinson the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award.

    When Childress was hired, he asked Seattle coach Mike Holmgren whether it was worth investing in him as a No. 1 receiver. He was signed to a two-year contract in March.

    It all seemed too good to be true, and alarms went off in June when word from South Carolina arrived suggesting Robinson had had a relapse. He said he was only attending relapse prevention classes.

    "I just want to make sure I'm good for the season before I put myself back in that lifestyle," Robinson told the Associated Press at the time. "In the NFL, when you lose, you feel real down and when you win, there's a lot of celebrating. I'm just making sure I'm bulletproof and being proactive."

    He also knows his success last year guarantees nothing except the kind of raised expectations he failed to meet in Seattle. It's a misconception that an athlete has more means and motivation to stay sober.

    "It's harder on you," he said Thursday. "Being in the spotlight makes it harder. You have the money to go where you want to go, do what you want to do."

    What Robinson wants to do is justify Childress' faith in him as the team's new go-to guy. Last year, he caught only 22 passes as the Vikings struggled in their first season without Randy Moss. After Nate Burleson signed with Seattle, Robinson emerged as the real heir apparent. On Monday night, Moss makes his first return to the Metrodome when the Oakland Raiders play, but there is more curiosity about whether Robinson can take his remarkable comeback to another level.

    "I need that to push me to be the best player I can be and it feels good. I look at it as this being my reward for all the work that I did to get myself right," Robinson said.

    In 2001, the Seahawks traded down and drafted Robinson in the ninth spot in the first round, one spot after the Bears took David Terrell. Neither made it with his initial team, but a quick out pattern is familiar to a lot of receivers in more ways than one.

    Terrell ended up in Denver, where the Broncos are trying to unload their No. 1, Ashley Lelie, after picking up Green Bay's former No. 1, Javon Walker. So if Lelie winds up in Chicago, it's because the merry-go-round keeps spinning. And don't remind Childress of Terrell Owens, who wouldn't talk to the Eagles' former offensive coordinator and got run out of Philadelphia only to displace former No. 1 Keyshawn Johnson, who landed in Carolina.

    Robinson is one of three Vikings' receivers drafted in the top 10 along with last year's first-round pick Troy Williamson and former Baltimore Raven Travis Taylor. They also have Marcus Robinson, once the Bears' best receiver.

    Childress said he likes all of them, plus another backup he brought from Philadelphia, Billy McMullen, but he has Koren Robinson at the important flanker spot in his West Coast offense.

    "It feels good," Robinson said. "I welcome a challenge. I like that pressure. I want to be that guy like in basketball who has the last shot with all the pressure on my shoulders and everybody is counting on me to make that shot. I feel that's when I do my best work."

    Nobody was counting on Robinson when he faced the pressure of treatment a year ago. He knows he never will be finished proving himself. But for the moment, he feels good enough to issue an early warning to the NFC North Division.

    "There definitely will be competition," he said. "We have the best talent. On paper, we can beat anybody ... . It will be competitive.

    "I don't feel the Bears are just going to roll over everybody in the division. That's just not going to happen. Especially not us. We did go 9-7. We have a different focus this year. There's not going to be any of the distractions we had last year and all of that."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    oakmage's Avatar
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    Re: Koren Robinson fills need for Vikings

    Nice read I am hoping that he will have a similar turn around like Chris Carter did where he was able to turn around his life and have a great career with the Vikings.

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    "Still working on it, you know?" he said Thursday.

    "I need that to push me to be the best player I can be and it feels good. I look at it as this being my reward for all the work that I did to get myself right," Robinson said.
    If he keeps thinking this way, he'll be just fine.

    The first year is the hardest & he has now past that anniversary date.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
    HeavyMetalViking is offline Waterboy
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    Re: Koren Robinson fills need for Vikings

    "oakmage" wrote:
    Nice read I am hoping that he will have a similar turn around like Chris Carter did where he was able to turn around his life and have a great career with the Vikings.
    That's what I've been thinking. i doubt he will have the career Cris had, but i'm glad to see his turnaround. he was a true team player last year.

  5. #5
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    Nobody was counting on Robinson when he faced the pressure of treatment a year ago. He knows he never will be finished proving himself. But for the moment, he feels good enough to issue an early warning to the NFC North Division.

    "There definitely will be competition," he said. "We have the best talent. On paper, we can beat anybody ... . It will be competitive.

    "I don't feel the Bears are just going to roll over everybody in the division. That's just not going to happen. Especially not us. We did go 9-7. We have a different focus this year. There's not going to be any of the distractions we had last year and all of that."
    I sure like the sounds of that!!!! :lol:
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  6. #6
    marcosMN is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    One day at a time, K-Rob.
    -Sno

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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    "singersp" wrote:
    "Still working on it, you know?" he said Thursday.

    "I need that to push me to be the best player I can be and it feels good. I look at it as this being my reward for all the work that I did to get myself right," Robinson said.
    If he keeps thinking this way, he'll be just fine.

    The first year is the hardest & he has now past that anniversary date.
    Koren seems to be humble in his personal life and a little cocky in his professional life. Looks like it will be a good mix. Best of luck in both areas Koren.

  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    "vikinginvirginia" wrote:
    "singersp" wrote:
    "Still working on it, you know?" he said Thursday.

    "I need that to push me to be the best player I can be and it feels good. I look at it as this being my reward for all the work that I did to get myself right," Robinson said.
    If he keeps thinking this way, he'll be just fine.

    The first year is the hardest & he has now past that anniversary date.
    Koren seems to be humble in his personal life and a little cocky in his professional life. Looks like it will be a good mix. Best of luck in both areas Koren.
    Being humble is a very important part in staying sober. :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #9
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    Nice read.. Look for big things from K-Rob this season..

  10. #10
    V4L's Avatar
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    Re: Koren Robinson: Sober and bulletproof

    That's my boy!! Glad he is doing well and i'm hoping he can have a huge year this year




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