Seahawks’ Robinson leads the Beast

RENTON — Anyone questioning whether Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson has returned to health and strength might collect testimony from a few Tampa Bay defenders.

In Sunday’s Seahawks win, Robinson once flat-backed 312-pound defensive tackle Gary Gibson, and twice eclipsed Buccaneers cornerbacks Mark Barron and Leonard Johnson, who had charged up in run support.

In these cases, Robinson’s emphatic blocking helped spring running back Marshawn Lynch for solid ground gains on the way to a season-high 125 rushing yards.

All these efforts were customary for Robinson during his three previous seasons with Seattle, as he’s been a team captain, a Pro Bowl selection, veteran leader, and unofficial liaison between Lynch and the rest of the world.

“It felt good to be back at full strength and see the emphasis on the run game,” Robinson said in the Seahawks locker room Wednesday. “We put an emphasis on getting back to what we do and I’m happy to be doing my part.”

The quality of his play on Sunday made it easy to forget that the 30-year-old Robinson’s career seemed perilously close to an end until just a few weeks ago.

He became sick in the preseason with what he thought was a case of the flu, which led to dehydration and then a reaction to drugs. With his health in doubt and his contract calling for a $2.5 million salary, he was waived in the final cutdown.

Few knew how sick he was, as he ended up in the hospital twice. “I got down to about 215 pounds, and I’m a 245-pound guy,” he said.

While a cheaper replacement, Derrick Coleman, played well both as fullback and on special teams, Robinson recovered, worked to regain strength, and watched the Seahawks progress from week to week.

“I knew I could help this team,” Robinson said. “But I knew it would take the right situation.”

He had a few inquiries with other teams, but “I really didn’t want to play for another team,” he said. “I really wanted to be here. I love the city, I love the fans, love the coaches.”

Robinson said that he had reached the point where it was smart to start applying for media jobs. But Coleman suffered a hamstring injury, and the Seahawks benefited from a bit of fateful timing.

“NFL Network offered me a job hosting a show on the day that I was brought back for my physical here,” he said.

Having played eight years in the league, he wasn’t ready to give up on the game, though. And his connection to the Seahawks was never severed even once he got cut.

“They did a great job communicating with me all along, keeping me abreast with a little text here and there,” Robinson said. The messages were coming from general manager John Schneider, Robinson said, “letting me know they still had love for me.”

Is that the way teams and GMs usually treat waiver victims? “Nope,” he laughed. “That’s what makes it different around here.”

Head coach Pete Carroll saw the old Mike Robinson on the field against Tampa Bay. “Mike had a particularly good game,” Carroll said. “He really played well this week, he was physical, he read really well, it seemed like there was a great rhythm for him … he had a couple knockdowns and real physical blocks.”

It showed, Carroll said, “there’s a real chemistry” between Robinson and Lynch.

“I can’t explain it, or put it into words,” Robinson said of his working and personal relationship with Lynch. “We’ve been playing together for a while and he knows what I’m gonna do and how I’m going to target a guy. I talk to him about what I’m going to do when we see a certain look, so, yeah, we communicate a whole lot.”

Since Lynch doesn’t communicate with the media, I wasn’t able to ask him his thoughts on the value of Robinson’s return.

But we can give you Lynch’s comment on the matter, second-hand, through Robinson.

“Well, he told me on Monday, after this game, ‘Man, I’m so glad to have you back; I’m happy to be going to war with you again,’” Robinson said. “You know, that was good to hear.”

More in Sports

RPI has changed way hoops coaches approach non-league games

The implementation of RPI for state-tourney seeding has local basketball coaches thinking differently.

Everett’s Dustin Wolf stops a shot Saturday night at the Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett on December 16, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sivertips bounce back, rout Cougars 4-0

Dustin Wolf notches his first career shutout as Everett rebounds from a loss to beat Prince George.

How might NHL team in Seattle impact Silvertips?

A look at local reaction to the possibility of the NHL coming to Seattle.

Seahawks ditch ‘every game is the same’ mantra for Rams showdown

Seattle hosts first-place Los Angeles in what is essentially the NFC West championship game on Sunday.

Freshmen contributing for UW men’s basketball team

Mike Hopkins likes what he’s seen from his freshmen through… Continue reading

Saturday’s prep scores, recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Neah Bay 61, Darrington 55 Bellingham 77, Sultan 55 Interlake… Continue reading

Saturday’s stars of the night

Peter Kim, Anthony Armad, Kamiak wrestling Kim and Armad, both seniors, helped… Continue reading

Friday’s prep basketball scores, recaps

Girls teams get defensive in decisive victories.

Glacier Peak’s Makayla Guerra attempts a shot past Jackson’s Sydney Carter Friday night at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish on December 15, 2017. Glacier Peak won 63-46. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
New-look Glacier Peak girls basketball beats Jackson 63-46

The Grizzlies are starting to find their footing after losing three stars to graduation from last season.

Most Read