It was a rare second chance success story.
Two years ago, former first round pick (and then Minnesota Viking) Koren Robinson was left for dead. On Aug. 15, 2006, Robinson was arrested for drunken driving after reaching speeds of up to 120 mph on a high speed chase back to Minnesota’s training camp in Mankato, Minn. to make curfew. The Vikings cut him 11 days later, knowing a one-year suspension was on the horizon.
So, Green Bay gave him a shot. After serving his one-year layoff, K-Rob instantly became an unsung hero on the Packers’ 14-4, NFC North Champion team. With so many other weapons, Robinson was delegated to the No. 5 WR role but he still flashed the talent that got him drafted ninth overall in 2001.
In nine games last season, Robinson caught 21 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown, despite the limited looks in the Packers’ spread offense. Brett Favre often hooked up with Robinson on quick slants and deep outs. He completed a "Big 5" WR package that the Packers employed throughout the season, and also served as the team's primary kick returner.
Robinson got his life and his football career back together. He stayed clean off the field and contributed on it. At 28 years old, Robinson still has at least five good years left in him, and isn’t far from the No. 1 wideout that registered 1,240 yards and five touchdowns for Seattle in ’02. Green Bay cut him simply because of a numbers crunch after drafting Jordy Nelson in the second round.
Robinson would come cheap – easily under $1 million per year. Why not ink him to a two-year trial? Buffalo isn’t amongst the teams reportedly interested in Robinson. And one recent development surely dents K-Rob’s hopes on returning. His brother, Tariq, was arrested for trafficking ecstasy. The problem? Koren lives with Tariq…..Gulp.
If all’s clear though, Buffalo should sign him for the short term. The Bills are still thin at WR, despite drafting James Hardy. A slick, long-stride receiver like the 6-foot-2 Robinson would give the Bills offense another big target to stretch defenses.
Bruce Smith next for the Wall
No, they weren’t screaming “boo,” like so many fair weather fans thought.
It was “Bruuuuuuuuuuce!”
Defensive end Bruce Smith will be the 25th player added to the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame, the team announced Saturday. Smith finished his career with 200 sacks – the most in league history. In 19 seasons, Smith had at least 10 sacks 13 times.
Buffalo will unveil his name on the wall Sept. 21 when the Bills host Oakland.
”I represent those that are already up there and all of my teammates and the fans," Smith said. "I represent all of the coaches that I ever had and one in particular Ted Cottrell. He took me under his wing when he first got there and taught me how to study film. I represent Rusty Jones. He taught me the nutritional part of the game. When I got up to 310 pounds after my first season I quickly realized that I wasn't going to become the player I wanted to become unless I had the endurance to play for four quarters and if need be overtime. Everyone played their role."
Smith was Buffalo’s first overall pick in 1985. Since then he’s made 11 Pro Bowls, led the Bills to four AFC title games and recorded 171 sacks in a Bills uniform. Smith may have finished his career in Washington with the Redskins, but his legacy will forever remain at One Bills Drive.
"I think we succeeded," said Smith. "It brings tears to my eyes now every time I walk into that stadium and I hear thousands of fans shouting, 'Bruuuuuuuccce!' It was the same all through my career. It's just special."