Notebook: Robinson Recalls '03 Wild Card Game, Too

Most of the branches between the Green Bay and Seattle franchises were connected quite some time ago, with Mike Holmgren, Matt Hasselbeck, and Ted Thompson among the most noteworthy names. But a new branch, Koren Robinson, doesn’t consider himself a major limb of the family tree. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Seahawks Game Center

Most of the branches between the Green Bay and Seattle franchises were connected quite some time ago, with Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson, among the most noteworthy names.

But a new branch has sprouted for this Saturday's NFC Divisional playoff game, though he doesn't consider himself a major limb of the family tree.

Receiver Koren Robinson spent the first four years of his career in Seattle after being drafted by the Seahawks (under Holmgren and Thompson) in the first round in 2001.

Robinson admitted on Tuesday that playing against some of his former teammates, which he wasn't able to do last year because he was serving his one-year suspension when the Packers played in Seattle, will mean a little something to him. But he's come so far since his days with the Seahawks, particularly in his personal life with his battles with alcoholism, that lining up against his original team won't have the same significance it might have for other veteran players.

"It's just getting to play against some of my friends," Robinson said. "I'll just hopefully have a good game. But I'm so far removed from Seattle. I wish them the best."

Robinson said players like Hasselbeck and running back Shaun Alexander are Seahawks he still considers friends. Like them, he has just as many memories of the 2003 Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field between Seattle and Green Bay that ended on Al Harris' 52-yard interception return in overtime.

Much has been made of Hasselbeck's proclamation back then during the overtime coin flip, his "We want the ball, and we're going to score!" He even joked about it after Seattle's Wild Card playoff victory last weekend.

Everyone involved with the game seemed to learn about the bold prediction at a different time, including Robinson, who was Hasselbeck's leading receiver that day with seven catches for 88 yards.

Robinson said he didn't find out until after the game what Hasselbeck had said, when players were talking about it in the locker room. And even though it's been passed off mostly as a joke between Hasselbeck and his former Green Bay teammates, Robinson said he could understand why Hasselbeck was so confident at the time.

"We kind of felt it, because we had to come back in that game, and we felt like we had the momentum," said Robinson, recalling that the Seattle offense scored a touchdown with 51 seconds left to force the overtime. "We were behind him. But we didn't know he was going to go out on a limb like that."

Packers quarterback Brett Favre said he didn't hear Hasselbeck's declaration but was told about it right away, as running back Ahman Green came over to the sideline right after the flip.

"He says, 'Did you hear what Matt just said?' and I'm thinking, 'Heads, tails?'" Favre joked. "He meant no disrespect to anyone.

"People can call it what they want, but I thought it was pretty neat. I wouldn't do it, but I'm not saying that negatively. If he throws the winning touchdown ... but if he doesn't, they're talking about it three, four, five years later."

Back to old tricks?

With No. 1 punt returner Will Blackmon's status uncertain for this week with his foot injury, McCarthy said on Tuesday he might look at having Charles Woodson return punts again.

{sportsad300}Blackmon was scheduled to test his injured foot early this week, but he hasn't been ready to test it yet so he hasn't been able to practice. Rookie Tramon Williams continues to work as the primary punt returner in practice, but depending on the game situation and field position, McCarthy might consider going back to the sure-handed veteran. Woodson has averaged 8.5 yards on 74 punt returns, with only one fumble, in his two seasons in Green Bay.

"I think Charles has done a very good job for us in the past," McCarthy said. "He's an excellent decision-maker. That six, seven, eight, nine, 10 yards of field position shows up every time at the end of the day. Field position will be very important this week. It's definitely an option."

Playoff captains

The Packers have selected a total of six captains for Saturday's playoff game - two each on offense, defense and special teams.

The offensive captains will be quarterback Brett Favre and receiver Donald Driver, the defensive captains will be linebacker Nick Barnett and defensive end Aaron Kampman, and the special teams captains will be linebacker Tracy White and long snapper Rob Davis.

Other injury news

The first official injury report for Saturday's game will be released on Wednesday, but guard Jason Spitz did return to practice on Tuesday after sitting out last week's workouts with a quadriceps injury.

Running back Brandon Jackson missed Tuesday's practice with an illness, but McCarthy expects him back on Wednesday.

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