Seattle's Koren Robinson
Wideout's Steep Learning Curve
Koren Robinson is 23, and in two seasons as the Seahawks' franchise wideout he has caught 117 passes. Yet in some ways he still thinks of himself as a rookie. The 6'1", 205-pound Robinson had two years of eligibility left at North Carolina State when he entered the 2001 draft and was chosen with the ninth pick Had he stayed in school, he would be preparing for his first NFL game on Sunday against the Saints. As it is, he's trying to maintain his fast-track rate of development: He doubled his rookie-year total with 78 catches last year, for 1,240 yards, and has set goals of 105 catches and 1,500 yards this year.
"Coming out at 21, I had to take two years to learn how to play the position in the NFL," he says. "This year I'll still be learning how to run routes from all the places they'll play me—left, right, in the slot, split wide."
Seattle led the NFL in total offense over the final seven weeks of last season partly because of the deep-route connection formed by Robinson and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Barring injuries they should get off to a fast start this year. In their first six games the Sea-hawks face four-teams (the Saints, Cards, 49ers and Bears) that ranked in the bottom 10 in the NFL in pass defense last year, plus one team (the Rams) with an injury-riddled secondary.