Notebook: Robinson Easing Back Into It

The Packers aren’t going to make any rash decisions about whether or not to activate wide receiver Koren Robinson for next Monday’s game at Denver. But the steps being taken with Robinson this week will allow them to see just how ready he is to play after being away from football for a full year. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Broncos Game Center Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 22


The Packers aren't going to make any rash decisions about whether or not to activate wide receiver Koren Robinson for next Monday's game at Denver.

But the steps being taken with Robinson this week will allow them to see just how ready he is to play after being away from football for a full year.

Robinson returned to the practice field on Monday for the first time since October 2006. He was reinstated last week after a one-year suspension, and even though the team wasn't practicing, Robinson arrived in Green Bay last Thursday to begin getting a refresher course on the playbook from offensive quality control coach Ty Knott.

The Packers began implementing their game plan for the Broncos on Monday, their first of five practices before the game, so Robinson will have time to process everything as the week continues.

"This is probably the perfect week for him to come back just because of the way we're spreading out the installation," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "Everybody is excited he's back. But I'm just going to watch him every day, and we'll make an educated decision at the end of the week."

The Packers have a roster exemption for Robinson until Oct. 30, the day after the Denver game. So if the coaching staff doesn't feel he's ready this week, he wouldn't need to be added to the 53-man roster at the expense of another player until after the road trip.

But Robinson feels he has a good chance to be ready. He says his recall of the playbook has been fine after playing four games for the Packers in 2006, but the toughest things to adjust to are quarterback Brett Favre's audibles and hand signals at the line of scrimmage.

He's expecting to work more on that this week with receivers coach Jimmy Robinson, who could be heard at Monday's practice harping on ball-carrying and footwork fundamentals with Robinson.

All in all, it was a productive first workout for the seventh-year receiver, who is clearly excited but trying not to put too much pressure on himself to perform right away.

"Just being able to get out there for the first time with them and go through a physical practice, it's overwhelming," Robinson said. "I'm just happy to be back and happy I got this second opportunity.

"I feel like if I go out there and do what I'm capable of doing and just work my way in, everything will be cool."

Cornerback Al Harris was impressed with Robinson on his first day, saying he looks "rejuvenated" and "refreshed," terms that could apply to his life as well as his football career after spending the past year dealing with alcoholism.

Robinson is confident he's winning that battle, and even though it felt a little awkward to be running with a helmet and shoulder pads on again, he's equally confident he's ready to contribute for the Packers, whether it's as the kick returner or the fourth or fifth receiver on offense.

"I think I am," he said. "I don't think I can come in and do 70 plays without taking a break or anything like that, but I feel like I can go in and give 110 percent of what they ask of me."

Opportunity knocking

When Ryan Krause was released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this year, he specifically chose to join the Packers' practice squad among other opportunities because the team had only two tight ends on its 53-man roster rather than the usual three most teams carry.

{sportsad300}It has turned out to be a wise move, because with Bubba Franks out for at least the next game with a knee injury, Krause was signed Monday to Green Bay's active roster as the No. 2 tight end behind Donald Lee.

Krause is in his fourth year in the NFL but he's only played in five games in that time. While on the Packers' practice squad since Sept. 3, he had been getting some snaps with the No. 1 offense to spell Lee and Franks, and now those reps are all the more meaningful.

"It seems like it will be a good challenge," Krause said. "I'm up to it, and hopefully they'll put me in quite a bit."

McCarthy said that Krause doesn't possess the versatility of a veteran like Franks, who could perform as a blocker or receiver from multiple formations and alignments. But if there's a role for Krause to play, the coaching staff will find it.

"It's an opportunity for Ryan Krause," McCarthy said. "He had a good day today, too. He had a couple nice catches. It's an opportunity for him to step up."

Special ceremony

McCarthy spent part of his bye week time off at his alma mater, Baker University in Kansas, getting inducted into the school's hall of fame.

McCarthy played tight end for two years at Baker, which played in the NAIA Division II national championship his senior year in 1986. This year's hall inductees were honored a couple of weeks ago, but a special ceremony honoring McCarthy was scheduled when he could return during the bye week, and his daughter and parents were able to be there with him.

"It was a nice event, and I was totally overwhelmed," said McCarthy, who admitted getting a little emotional about the recognition. "It was something you'll never forget.

"I saw a lot of guys I hadn't seen in 20 years. We really had two very good football teams the two years I was there. It was awesome. It really was. I can't say enough about the day."

Possible time change

The kickoff for Monday night's game in Denver will be moved up a half-hour, to 7:05 p.m. CT, if a Game 5 is necessary in the World Series. That Game 5 would also be played in Denver on Monday night.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content