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  1. #1
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    Robinson seeks bigger role as receiver

    Robinson seeks bigger role as receiver

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Posted on Fri, Oct. 28, 2005
    Pioneer Press

    Vikings receiver Koren Robinson flashed his playmaking abilities as a kick returner Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

    Now, he wants to showcase that potential at receiver.

    "I'm comfortable now and want some more offensive snaps, but I guess that's going to come with time," Robinson said. "I feel like, the more plays I make, I feel they won't be able to deny me."

    Robinson said he doesn't want to cause a problem, given the Vikings are five-deep at his position. But he is more familiar with the offense and wants to build on his 72-yard kick return last week.

    "Just to be able to contribute to a big win like that. … Man, that felt good," Robinson said. "If I keep doing my job on kick returns, when I get in there on offense, I need to make a play, and then I'll get a couple more plays in a different package."

    Robinson, who had 1,240 yards receiving for the Seattle Seahawks in 2002, has three receptions for 13 yards with the Vikings. But Robinson, who went to South Point High School in Belmont, N.C., is making his professional debut in his home state Sunday.

    "It's nice to be able to go back to your hometown and play Carolina, see some people I haven't seen in a while, and get a chance to perform in front of my family and friends," said Robinson, who bought 40 tickets for the game.

    Meanwhile, coach Mike Tice said running back Mewelde Moore will handle punt returns against the Panthers but added that he would like receiver Nate Burleson to assume that role when fully healthy.

    "I want to be 100 percent before I do it, too," Burleson said. "I'm a couple of weeks from being 100 percent. But if there is any position they want me to play, I'm definitely ready. I just want to make plays."

    Long-term commitment: As the Vikings Children's Fund passed the $4 million mark in support of the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics, they also got a vote of support from their new ownership group.

    Audrey Wilf, wife of owner Zygi Wilf, and team president Mark Wilf attended a board meeting Monday to bolster the work of the Children's Fund, which has donated more than $7.1 million since its inception in 1978.

    "It's critical that the Wilf family has expressed their commitment to the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics and the Children's Fund," said Pat Leopold, the Children's Fund coordinator.

    This year, the Children's Fund made a record 110 grants, including $180,000 to the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics and another $180,000 to organizations that deal with family services, education and health needs of children.

    The league does not rank the charitable efforts of their clubs. But Leopold said of the Vikings Children's Fund, "In actual dollars we distribute, we are one of the leaders in the NFL."

    Parking problem: Players have dismissed the memo they received from new security director Dag Sohlberg about the new rules for using their parking lot.

    Asked if anyone has been penalized, receiver Marcus Robinson said, "I don't think that'll happen, but you never know."

    But Sohlberg, who warned players not to double park and avoid spots reserved for emergency vehicles, will begin enforcing the new rules today. The team has not spelled out the punishment, but players who illegally park could have their vehicles towed. Because of limited space, some players must park in a lot across from the practice field.

    Injury update: Linebacker Napoleon Harris returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday after undergoing a procedure to drain fluids from his right knee. Linebacker Dontarrious Thomas also returned to practice and was upgraded from questionable to probable.

    Tice must decide who will be inactive Sunday. Defensive lineman Spencer Johnson, Thomas and Harris are candidates. Tice said the player who is "favoring" his injury most would not play.

    Briefly: Tice had center Melvin Fowler take extra shotgun snaps during practice Thursday. Fowler struggled with long snaps against the Packers on Sunday.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

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

  2. #2
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    Re: Robinson seeks bigger role as receiver

    Pack of fans to cheer on Koren Robinson

    Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
    Last update: October 27, 2005 at 9:07 PM

    Receiver Koren Robinson will have his own cheering section Sunday at Bank of America Stadium when the Vikings play Carolina. Robinson, a North Carolina native who lives in Charlotte, rounded up about 40 tickets for family members and friends.

    "It is [special]," said Robinson, who played at North Carolina State. "It's my fifth year in the NFL, and it's the first time I'm going to be able to go back to my hometown playing Carolina. I'll see some people I haven't seen in a while and also just be able to perform in front of a lot of my family and friends and my loved ones."

    The only certainty for Robinson is that he will be used on kickoff returns. He had his best performance Sunday against Green Bay, returning five kicks for an average of 29.4 yards. He had a 72-yard return in the second quarter, and his 25-yarder in the fourth quarter set up Paul Edinger's game-winning field goal.

    Against Green Bay, Robinson also caught a season-high two passes for 9 yards, giving him three receptions in limited duty. Robinson, who was signed by the Vikings early last month after completing a 28-day alcohol-treatment program, admits it can be tough sitting on the bench, but he isn't complaining.

    "Sometimes it is because you want to be in there helping out," said Robinson, released by Seattle in June after a string of alcohol-related offenses. "But at the same time I know my situation. I'm willing to do whatever. Whether that will be sitting on the bench and just doing kickoff returns or not even doing anything. Just rooting my team on. I'll be fine with that."

    Some time to return

    Running back Mewelde Moore will return punts for the second consecutive game, but coach Mike Tice said he would like Nate Burleson to assume that role when the receiver is completely healthy.

    Burleson, who played against Green Bay after missing three games because of a sprained left knee, said he is at 90 percent.

    "I want to be at 100 percent if I'm going to be back there returning punts because obviously it's a little more riskier than running routes," he said.

    Burleson averaged 8.6 yards on 25 punt returns in 2004 and had a 91-yard touchdown. Moore, Robinson and the recently released Keenan Howry have averaged 5.1 yards on 32 returns this season.

    It's a snap

    Center Melvin Fowler has spent time in practice this week working on his shotgun snaps. Fowler, making his second start Sunday, appeared to float the ball back to quarterback Daunte Culpepper in the victory over Green Bay.

    "He just wants to be perfect with [the snaps]," offensive coordinator Steve Loney said. "We've drilled him today and will continue to do that so that he gains confidence that he just needs to snap it. He doesn't need to think about it, he doesn't need to overanalyze it because he has the ability to do it."

    Loney admitted Fowler's shotgun snaps were a reason he didn't become the starting center sooner.

    "I think that probably delayed when he got in this year," Loney said. "You kind of held your breath every time he did it. He's not there yet, but we're continuing to work with him on it."

    Etc.

    • Linebacker Napoleon Harris, who did not practice Wednesday after having fluid drained from his right knee a day earlier, returned to the field Thursday. He is listed as probable on the injury report. Fellow linebacker Dontarrious Thomas (right shoulder) was upgraded from questionable to probable after going through a second consecutive day of practice. Defensive lineman Spencer Johnson (knee), who has missed two games, also is probable.

    • The Panthers have eight players on their injury report, but none missed practice Thursday. Receiver Keary Colbert (ankle), running back DeShaun Foster (knee) and linebacker Dan Morgan (shoulder) are questionable.

    • Rookie running back Ciatrick Fason will be active for the fourth game this season. Fason will serve as the upback on kickoff returns and could be used in third-and-short situations if Moe Williams' sore knee keeps him from that role.

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

  3. #3
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    Re: Robinson seeks bigger role as receiver

    Receiver Koren Robinson will have his own cheering section Sunday at Bank of America Stadium when the Vikings play Carolina. Robinson, a North Carolina native who lives in Charlotte, rounded up about 40 tickets for family members and friends.
    SWEET!

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

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