Koren Robinson has every intention of straightening out his life, and he's going to try to do so as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Robinson, a receiver and Pro Bowl kick returner, has agreed to terms with the Packers and will be joining the team this week.
The former first-round draft pick, whom Packers General Manager Ted Thompson selected for the Seattle Seahawks in 2001, is trying to move past some off-the-field issues that have damaged him as a person and a player. But he and Thompson feel the steps he has taken already and the support he'll get in Green Bay will allow him to put those issues behind him.
"This is a good kid," Thompson said. "I'm not making excuses. He's made some mistakes, but this is a good kid. He is a good character guy for all intents and purposes."
Robinson declined to get into specifics about his personal life, but he's looking forward to a fresh start with a new team. He was released by the Minnesota Vikings this summer during training camp.
"I'm all about new beginnings, new starts," Robinson said. "Now I'm here in Green Bay. This is a new chapter in my life, and I'm just trying to stay focused on football and go down the right path.
"I'm just going to be me. I feel like I'm very personable, a good person to get along with. I hope everybody accepts me, and I know they will. I know this organization is family-oriented, and I feel like that's what I need. I feel like everybody is here to help me out and support me, anything and everything I need, me and my family."
Robinson already has the support of quarterback Brett Favre, who welcomes the talent of another potential 1,000-yard receiver and can relate to some of Robinson's personal battles.
"I think it's a positive move," Favre said. "On the field, he can really help our football team, let's face it. His credentials speak for themselves; he's a Pro Bowler.
"As far as off the field, and this is coming from someone who's been through some of the same issues, I think everyone deserves another chance. I think this is a good place for him. He'll have a good, built-in support system and there are a lot of people here, like Ted, who know him well.
"You can become better, and on top of that he can help our football team win."
Robinson's best season as a pro came in 2002, when he caught 78 passes for 1,240 yards and five touchdowns for the Seahawks. He joined the Vikings last season and made the Pro Bowl on special teams, leading the NFC and ranking fifth in the NFL with a 26.0-yard average on 47 kickoff returns, including an 86-yard return for a touchdown.
"He's a big receiver who can run," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's a physical receiver, and he's played in this offense. His body type is built for this offense. He's a powerful man with the ball in his hands."
Thompson, who liked the 6-foot-1, 205-pound receiver enough to take him with the ninth overall pick in 2001, said he expects Robinson to potentially contribute on special teams for the Packers right away. His familiarity with the West Coast offense should make the football transition smooth.
Thompson also emphasized it will be a team commitment to support Robinson as he works to straighten himself out.
"That's what the NFL and the NFLPA is about is about trying to rectify those problems, and we've had long conversations with Koren, and he understands that he's made mistakes, and he's going to have to improve on that," Thompson said.
"He's grown both as a player and going through some of the missteps that he's taken he's grown as a human being. He's a good guy. He's affable, very friendly, jokes in the locker room, all those sorts of things. You can tell he enjoys being around the game, enjoys being around football."