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BB2W
04-08-2006, 04:04 PM
http://espn-att.starwave.com/media/ncf/2005/1201/photo/g_mrobinson_412.jpg


One of these days, if Michael Robinson sits in front of the television long enough and takes copious notes on any of the seemingly endless run of no-limit Texas hold'em shows that proliferate on the schedule just about any evening of any week, the Penn State quarterback is finally going to figure out whether three of a kind tops a full house or whether a straight trumps a flush.

And then, well, look out, world. Especially if the other guys sitting around the green-felted table happen to all be NFL scouts.

Because at that point, Robinson will really be prepared to let the chips fall where they may.

"The problem right now," explained Robinson, sighing, "is that everyone else is playing poker, except me. I mean, I'm a spades man, OK? The whole poker thing, I don't get it. But when the game is spades ? I don't care who my partner is, just deal the cards and I'm going to take us to a win. It's just my competitive nature. And trust me, I'm competitive in everything I do. You name it, and I'm playing it to win, no matter the game. That's one of the best qualities I have."

It's a quality, Robinson lamented, that he isn't certain league personnel directors and scouts have identified yet in him. But since he isn't apt to lure many talent evaluators into a game of spades -- heck, even the most grizzled bird dogs around the NFL have gotten caught up in the exploding poker craze, Robinson has determined -- teams are just going to have to take his word for it.

Or, maybe, go back and take another look at the videotape evidence from his Nittany Lions career.

What they'll see well-documented on the celluloid, Robinson promised, is a guy who would do anything ("And I mean anything at all," he insisted) to help his team win.

That's an important assertion and here's why: Because the do-it-all Robinson, who performed just about every task that Joe Paterno and the coaching staff asked of him during five years at Penn State, is perceived by some NFL personnel officials as a guy insistent on doing just one thing -- playing quarterback -- at the next level. And that simply isn't true, emphasized Robinson, one of several quarterbacks in this year's draft who likely will have to switch positions, at least initially, to be regarded as a viable NFL prospect.

Truth be told, Robinson is probably built (6-foot-1 3/8, 227 pounds) more like a wide receiver or tailback, the positions many teams have projected for him, than he is a quarterback. Although his 40-yard times have largely been in the mid-4.5s, Robinson is a smooth and effortless athlete, with nice elusiveness and some explosiveness and long speed. What all of that translates into for NFL scouts remains to be seen.

In the new-age parlance of the college recruiting game, players such as Robinson, it seems, show up on campus with the "ATH" notation next to their names. It is shorthand for athlete and longhand for a player whose best position is wherever the team needs him to line up. In the NFL, where change is always difficult and the culture of specialization basically demands that every prospect be pigeonholed into some well-defined subset, the approach isn't quite so progressive.

Rather than embrace prospects like Robinson -- or other versatile quarterbacks such as Reggie McNeal (Texas A&M), D.J. Shockley (Georgia), Brad Smith (Missouri), Kent Smith (Central Michigan) and Marcus Vick (Virginia Tech) -- the NFL tends to view them through a prism held at arm's length. If they just move a bit closer, Robinson said, they might be surprised by what they discover.

Which might be that the hybrid designation, which has become so popular for edge defenders, might also apply to some players on the offensive side of the ball as well.

Certainly the performances of former college quarterbacks who have succeeded at other positions in recent NFL seasons, such as standout wide receivers Antwaan Randle El and Drew Bennett, should have precipitated some deviance from the stodgy mind-set of the past.

Then again, it takes a player willing to change positions to help change people's minds, right?

And rumors to the contrary, Robinson is prepared to become a chameleon if it helps him in the draft, and gets him into an NFL training camp with a legitimate opportunity to earn a roster spot.

"I'm a football player, plain and simple, and isn't that what they're looking for?" Robinson said. "I don't know where this whole idea came up that I have to play quarterback. I've never told that to scouts. Never said it once. My whole thing is, draft me as a football player, a guy who has made plays in big games, and been a winner. And if somewhere along the line, you find out I can play quarterback, that's good. And if I can't, well, you've still got yourself a player who is going to find a way to get on the field and help you."

Early in his college career, it was Robinson who kept finding ways to help Penn State, where the coaches weren't quite sure what to make of him, either. In fact, entering his senior season, Robinson had started more combined games at positions other than quarterback, five each at wide receiver and tailback, than the six starts he had logged as a signal caller. Finally, in 2005, Robinson, a team captain and a player who had already earned a degree in December 2004 and had enrolled in graduate school, started every contest at quarterback.

Robinson completed 162 of 311 passes for 2,350 yards, with 17 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He also ran for 806 yards and 11 touchdowns. And in a season of resurgence for both himself and a once-proud Penn State program, he broke quarterback Kerry Collins' school record for single-season total yards.

For his career, Robinson totaled 5,371 yards, and scored touchdowns as a rusher, passer and receiver. But just as was the case in high school, it took Joe Paterno a while to warm up to him as a full-time quarterback.

"The crazy thing is," Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno said, "everyone was asking before the start of the season, 'Can this guy really play quarterback?' Then he went out and played quarterback at a very high level, and it still didn't stop the questions, did it? Makes you wonder what he's got to do."

What the articulate Robinson acknowledged he must do is whatever scouts ask him to do. At the combine, in the Senior Bowl practices and during his pro day audition, Robinson worked in drills at wide receiver and running back. He threw the ball, ran with it and caught it. And for being such a whirling dervish, the scouts have pegged him as a probable middle-round selection.

One longtime scout from an AFC franchise tabbed Robinson as "a project, maybe a little bit of a gamble, but a project worth taking. There's some edge to him."

What might provide Robinson some advantage over many of the other college quarterbacks in the 2006 draft pool who will be asked to change positions is that he already has lined up and been productive in other spots. His r?sum? includes 319 carries and 43 catches, and while Robinson is still fairly unpolished as a wide receiver or tailback, even his modest experience at those positions might flatten the learning curve a bit in training camp.

His hope is that if he can contribute at another position and continue to get practice snaps at quarterback, maybe even operating the scout team, he might be able to move to quarterback in two or three years. In that acknowledgement, though, Robinson sees a twist.

"You know what the irony really is?" Robinson said. "The only position at which I was ever coached was quarterback. I never went to a wide receivers meeting. I never ran routes at practice or was coached up in terms of technique. None of that. I mean, when I was playing wide receiver, Joe [Paterno] would say, like, 'OK, line up out there, run this route, and we'll get you the ball.' But playing receiver probably made me a better quarterback, actually, by the time I got to play there. Even now, I think every quarterback ought to have to run some routes in practice, because it gives you a much better perspective. I'd highly recommend it. I just wouldn't recommend having to wait so long to play [quarterback], that's all."

The wait before he lines up behind the center again, Robinson conceded, could be a long one.

He views himself and others such as McNeal or the wondrously talented Vince Young of Texas, despite the athletic derring-do of quarterbacks such as Michael Vick of Atlanta, as ahead of their time. In 20 years or so, he suggested, the game will have evolved to the point that quarterbacks who can run will be regarded as typical, and not curiosities.

That said, Robinson is prepared to roll with the here and now, whatever his first NFL experience brings.

Asked how he might look back on a career in which he lasted 10 seasons, won a Super Bowl or two, made it to the Pro Bowl, earned a living that enabled him to have no financial concerns after retirement, but also included never having taken a single snap from center, Robinson laughed.

"That would be fine," Robinson said. "Like I said, I'm a football player. And if all those things came true, it will have meant I was a pretty good football player, huh? The way I look at it, I'm ready for whatever they throw at me. Just like in spades, I'll play the hand that's dealt me, and turn it into a winner."


link: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2400350

tony hipchest
04-08-2006, 04:19 PM
good article. i hope we draft him and he turns into what k. stewart never wanted to be.

stewart was essentially the 6th wr, 4th qb on the roster in his rookie season, yet had plenty of touches and definitely contributed in the playoffs and sb in the 95 season. i think robinson can do this too, without costing a #2 pick and without wanting to push ben or hines out of a job.

BB2W
04-08-2006, 04:31 PM
I agree Tony...

You know he can play wide receiver and runningback, but some people see him as a safety. He is a lot tougher than your average quarterback. Check out this video...

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Quh63kQBUk&search=michael%20robinson

tony hipchest
04-08-2006, 04:45 PM
lol. dude (owens?) flopped like a fish after that crushing blow. robinson probably wouldnt have no problems playing special teams and if its one area i want looked at in the draft it is good immediate special teams players.

Suitanim
04-08-2006, 05:07 PM
This will give him a leg up on Brad Smith, who is still insisting he should be an NFL QB.

BB2W
04-08-2006, 05:14 PM
He could be used by Pittsburgh in so many ways... he could help fill the void left by El's departure, he can play runningback, and I also see him as a great third down back in the shotgun. He can punt and kick return as he did as a freshman and some as a sophomore at Penn State, and of course he can be a back-up quarterback.

I think he could evetually be an every down receiver in the NFL and Robinson's best quallity as a quarterback was his ability to throw the deep ball... He's got a strong arm and great touch on deep routes which is perfect to take over for El in the trick play department.

Here is the "M-Rob for Heismen video"...

link: http://media.putfile.com/Michael-Robinson-For-Heisman

schoondog
04-08-2006, 05:37 PM
I think this is damage control, and personally he can play anywhere he wants as long as it isn't in pittsburgh

tony hipchest
04-08-2006, 06:06 PM
He could be used by Pittsburgh in so many ways... he could help fill the void left by El's departure, he can play runningback, and I also see him as a great third down back in the shotgun. He can punt and kick return as he did as a freshman and some as a sophomore at Penn State, and of course he can be a back-up quarterback.

I think he could evetually be an every down receiver in the NFL and Robinson's best quallity as a quarterback was his ability to throw the deep ball... He's got a strong arm and great touch on deep routes which is perfect to take over for El in the trick play department.

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i bet you mularkey in miami is thinking the same thing. if pitt is leaning in his direction they definitely dont wanna tip their hand. im sure there are plenty of teams in the draft who use who the steelers are targeting as a tie breaker when faced with a difficult decision.

BB2W
04-08-2006, 06:12 PM
I think this is damage control, and personally he can play anywhere he wants as long as it isn't in pittsburgh
It may be damage control and I will admit that quarterback may not be the best position for him, but you obviously haven't seen him play much and know little about his leadership skills, intelligence, work ethic, and effort on the feild... or you just hate Penn State. He is a good player to have on any team.

He did everything he could to help PSU win and was pretty much the teams best weapon on offense his entire career. I hope he is successful in the NFL wherever he ends up, but that remains to be seen.

schoondog
04-08-2006, 06:36 PM
Why is it when someone has something negative to say about a penn state player, penn state fans call that person a hater? I've seen my fair share of penn state games and am not a penn state hater although I won't go out of my way to cheer for them I just think that he still has visions of being a qb in the nfl and down the road may cause problems.

BB2W
04-08-2006, 07:04 PM
Why is it when someone has something negative to say about a penn state player, penn state fans call that person a hater?
Ummm... because your hatin. :rolleyes:

I understand that everyone has an opinion, and sometimes they are different than mine. I never heard of this Penn State fan stereotype of yours but I'm sure it's fairly consistant with fans of any team in any sport. Although, that would explain the "I told you so" videos... they go out to all the haters.

link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1282191490392530314&q=Penn+State

Suitanim
04-10-2006, 05:23 PM
Sporting News also has the Steelers very interested in Robinson on day 2, which means Dulac is reporting that interest.

At least he's approaching his imminent "slash" role with an open mind. You know, he reminds me a bit of an Eddie George-type RB (They have almost identical builds, [Robinson 6'1 3/8" 227/George 6'2" 227 coming out of school] and Robinson may be a bit more elusive), and his ability to play multiple roles means he's almost certainly going to be NFL worthy at SOME position.

I'd welcome this addition to the Steelers, as long as we didn't pick him before the end of round 3.

tony hipchest
04-10-2006, 07:27 PM
we have 3 selections in the span of 6 picks with our compensetory 4th round picks. this seems to be a perfect spot. he reminds me of a poor mans matt jones. (in that we can get him fairly cheap) and while people say jones was a reach i think he was well worth the gamble for jax. i also though jones would be a perfect fit for the steelers just like i think m-rob will. especially after reading the size similarity with eddie george.

DiggetyDank
04-11-2006, 02:14 AM
Robinson would be a great pick. What are some plays you guys would like to see him run? I'm thinking he could get some decent yards on some kind of reverse or end-around play, or the always-fun halfback option. I wonder if he would be any good returning punts or kickoffs?

Suitanim
04-11-2006, 08:41 AM
I think you use him as slash, but more often. Line him up at WR on some plays, put him in the slot and/or as an H-back some, let him play some RB, even line him up at QB and line Ben up at WR. A guy like that on the field can cause an opposing teams DC to have fits...

BB2W
04-11-2006, 12:46 PM
I think he would be great as the third down back in shotgun formation, like they used El and Ward in that position. Two words for you... " direct snap". M-Rob ran more quarterback draws from 3rd and 7+ I've ever seen, and he would get them. There are so many ways to use him, and yes... he did punt/kick return as a freshman and some as a sophomore at Penn State.

I would even think he would have a good feel for pass protection (being a former QB) if he had to stay in and block... I know he's not scared to stick his nose in there.

tony hipchest
04-11-2006, 01:14 PM
i keep thinking of how explosive kordell was in 95. or how perfect matt jones wouldve fit in last year. then i think of robinson in a 5wr set with quincy, hines, cedric, and heath, or even a 4 wr set with willie in the backfield.

could he possibly be the biggest "bang for your buck" player the steelers could draft (considering rookie season output only)? i think, like kordell, he could have a huge impact just touching the ball 3-4 times a game.

BB2W
04-11-2006, 07:00 PM
I totally agree Tony... check out this scouting report.

- Gifted athlete who has played QB, WR, and RB during his career at Penn State, extremely tough, good leadership qualities and work ethic, one of the most mobile QB's in this year's draft. A rocket with the ball in his hands. Has a quick first step and has the speed to take it the distance. Very elusive can get himself out of trouble when he needs to. Could move to WR or RB in the NFL, or play a "Slash" role similar to Kordell Stewart in his early years with the Steelers. Made clutch plays all season for PSU and was a major reason for the massive turnaround in Happy Valley.

Overall: Robinson can help his draft status at the Senior Bowl by taking reps at WR, RB, and KR as well as QB. Indications are that he will be drafted for his athletic ability rather than his skills as a passer and will probably be moved to WR or RB in the NFL. Any team that is fortunate enough to land MRob will be pleasantly surprised with his good work ethic, attitude, and leadership skills, not to mention his gamebreaking abilities running, throwing, or catching the football.

I think that when some people look at Robinson they think he is a thug or a male diva with the all the tattoos, the visor, and general swagger or confidence he possesses on the field. He is actually one of the most focused and down to earth young athletes you'll find. As a Penn State fan you are constantly hearing good things about his work ethic, leadership skills, commitment, and intelligence. He graduated in 3 1/2 years and earned a second undergraduate degree this past fall. He was also a four-time Academic All Big Ten honoree.

Joe Paterno recently said of their 11-1 season and Penn State's turnaround... "No player more exemplifies the commitment, sacrifice and belief in a common goal that breeds champions and no player better employed the charisma, confidence, and leadership to make it happen than Michael Robinson"

After Robinson's final game at home he said... "He's obviously taken over this football team," Paterno said. "He plays so well when he has to make plays. He's just a great competitor. We wouldn't be nearly as good without him."

Sorry... I think I have a "man crush". :blush:

tony hipchest
04-11-2006, 08:04 PM
Sorry... I think I have a "man crush". :blush:

:sofunny: kordell, hines, el, rumors of the steelers strongly targetting m. jones last year....it all just makes too much sense. problem is that players the steelers strongly covet often have their draft value greatly increased. many people were stunned when m. jones went #22? last year when alot others thought he would be there, and be a possible reach for the steelers drafting at #30.

if you look at the value of trading up from the 30 pick to the 22, the steelers might actually have to use a 3rd round pick on robinson to insure they get him. and even then, 30+ teams would have a shot at him with their 3rd round pick. hell denver spent a 3rd rounder on m. clarett so another team could definitely make such a bold move and gamble.

if matt was a 1st, el a 2nd, hines a 3rd, kordell a 2nd, why is robinson ranked as a 4th at highest? the draft and scouting experts ive listened to on sirius think he would be a great pick for the steelers in the 4th round and rave about his sr. bowl week. why so low?

BB2W
04-11-2006, 09:22 PM
if matt was a 1st, el a 2nd, hines a 3rd, kordell a 2nd, why is robinson ranked as a 4th at highest? the draft and scouting experts ive listened to on sirius think he would be a great pick for the steelers in the 4th round and rave about his sr. bowl week. why so low?
The thing that hurt Robinson's draft status most was playing quarterback full time as a senior. If back-up Anthony Morelli would have started or even shared time with Robinson alowing him to be used in his "slash" role they would have a better idea of what he might be capable of.

He is not a very accurate quarterback, and it is probabaly not his best position. When he wasn't throwing the ball deep they ran a spread offense that used a lot of quarterback draws, sweeps, and options. He would often drop back to pass but take off running just like he did in the Senior Bowl. He ran the ball 163 times last season just 11 less than the starting runningback.

I think that if Paterno would have made him a runningback, wide receiver, quarterback, and even a safety from day one at Penn State rather than shuffling him around he would defintely be a first day pick... maybe a first rounder.

tony hipchest
04-13-2006, 06:53 PM
just watching sportscenter. they asked m. kiper jr. "who would be this years sickest athlete, who would be this years matt jones?" with no hesitation he said m. robinson who he said could go as early as the 4th round but not before that. this tells me if the steelers really want him they will have to either use a 3rd round pick or trade up in the 4th to get him. i think this dude needs to be a steeler.

BB2W
04-13-2006, 07:26 PM
just watching sportscenter. they asked m. kiper jr. "who would be this years sickest athlete, who would be this years matt jones?" with no hesitation he said m. robinson who he said could go as early as the 4th round but not before that. this tells me if the steelers really want him they will have to either use a 3rd round pick or trade up in the 4th to get him. i think this dude needs to be a steeler.
I just saw it too... :cool:

tony hipchest
04-13-2006, 07:35 PM
I just saw it too... :cool: kinda makes the mouth water huh? but it just keeps driving up the price. just about all the hosts on sirius radio agree hed be a perfect fit for the steelers. (kirwan and brandt for starters)

dbish33
04-13-2006, 08:13 PM
Nice article......MRob would be a good fit in Pittsburgh.....he is absolutely not an NFL QB but he can sling it and would be a perfect replacement for Randle El in that department...his route running and blocking obviously would need work but that would come in time.....he's a big boy too and can lay some licks on people (at least in college) so special teams would be an option too....

tony hipchest
04-13-2006, 08:50 PM
seems like kiper might have robinson ranked below jeremy bloom as a special teamer. he says robinsons hands are suspect and has him projected as emergency qb, rb, and safety. sounds like this kid can ball if you ask me and just needs a little practice. when asked if he was e. crouch, or randel el, he said hopefully somewhere in the middle. not as good as el throwing the ball or as a wr. i think he just needs practice at his designated position.

BB2W
04-13-2006, 11:40 PM
seems like kiper might have robinson ranked below jeremy bloom as a special teamer. he says robinsons hands are suspect.
I have seen Robinson bobble/fumble a punt before, but I never saw a problem with his hands when he was playing reciever. He made an amazing one-handed catch down the sidelines his sophomore year, and he was the "go to" guy as a junior... He may not have been the second coming of Jerry Rice but he certainly has better hands than Randle El.

I always thought El's biggest flaw was his hands.