OK, be honest with The Turkey now. Looking back to the beginning of this season, how many of you thought that the Nittany Lions would be handicapped when JoePa gave Michael Robinson the nod as starting quarterback? I have to admit that I count myself as a “yes” responder. Time had passed Joe by and loyalty meant more to him than selecting the right player for the pivotal position on offense. The Turkey joined a lot of you in calling for Joe to start Anthony Morelli, a sophomore with a rifle arm and a maturity problem. Michael Robinson? Can’t win with him!
You know how this season turned out. And you know that Michael Robinson was a big reason for it. Furthermore, you know that Paterno sent Galen Hall and JayPa to Texas to get some pointers about how to effectively employ Robinson’s talent. They came back and shocked us all with a spread offense at the Blue-White game. And by the time the Big Ten schedule rolled around, Robinson was skillfully playing his role in the re-engineered offense. The Nittany Lions finished 10–1, exceeding everone’s expectations, and Robinson was a major force behind Penn State’s resurgence. Deftly offsetting his limited passing skills with his athletic ability, Robinson was consistently one of the top rushers in every game. And admit it, your opinion of him really started turning around when in the Minnesota game, while heading out of bounds at the end of a run for a first down, Robinson collided helmet-to-helmet at full speed with Minnesota safety Brandon Owens—and flattened him. Robinson trotted away while the Gopher lay on the ground for several minutes wishing he had never left his burrow. Yeah, that one did it for me!
In spite of Paterno thinking that Michael Robinson is a well kept secret, a premier player that the press has deliberately ignored, Robinson has received a great deal of post-season media attention. (How can Joe talk out of both sides of his mouth, anyway? He chastises the press for ignoring Robinson while denying them access to players. Hmm.) Robinson finished in fifth place for the Heisman Trophy, no small feat in a year when the top four (Reggie Bush, USC, Vince Young, Texas, Matt Leinart, USC, and Brady Quinn, Notre Dame) were almost pre-annointed. Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN gave Robinson the “Herbie” award for MVP in the Big Ten, and the Big Ten followed suit, awarding him the Silver Football Award.
So, now, let me ask you all what you think of Michael Robinson?
I like a Turkey who admits his mistakes. I did believe that MRob would be improved this year, but not that improved. This year, he siglehandedly won games for us. The problem I had with him last season was he could not throw a completion to save his ass. At times he was so brutal I would turn off the TV in disgust and go out and do yard work. When this season began, I also was anxious for Morelli to get some playing time so that next year he would not be a deer in headlights.
Lets face it, if Morelli were the starter this year we would be looking at the Poulin Weedeater Bowl or some facsimile thereof.
On a side note there are rumors that Poz will be entering next years draft.
Hopefully this is just BS but,I wonder where a guy like him might fall. Perhaps ahead of Hawk, or Greenway?
The Nittany Turkey says
Robinson still can’t handle timing routes and his sideline passes still sail over the heads of receivers. With Williams and Butler, he could throw deep and put his faith in the receivers getting to the ball. I hope that Williams is able to play in the Orange Bowl, so we can see some more of the long ball. JoePa always encourages “the kids” to have fun in bowl games, and that kind of fun would be major fun for the fans.
I might be underestimating Robinson, but I don’t think he’s NFL material because of that lack of pinpoint passing accuracy. On the other hand, Michael Vick has taken a lot of heat for his supposedly poor passing, so there’s still hope for Robinson.
I couldn’t begin to speculate on draft position for Poz, and I hope the situation doesn’t come up at all this year. I’ve read the rumors and the speculation and I’m aware of all the arguments for entering the draft early when a player has nothing left to prove to the NFL. Poz has attempted to quash the rumors, but they keep popping up in spite of his denial. The appeal of the big bucks and the danger of an injury that might get in the way of the NFL money notwithstanding, I don’t put Poz in Arrington’s early exit category. After all, Arrington was uncoachable, as Joe Gibbs can attest. Arrington was not a Big Ten Academic All-American, either. On the other hand, Poz is perenially on the Dean’s List and is maintaining a 3.67 GPA in finance. He seems to be a kid with his head screwed on right. It might be selfish to hope that he stays around next year, but it would also be heartening to see that this superb student athlete realizes that there’s more to life than the NFL.
Morelli will have to take his lumps next year. His playing time against the Illinois junior high defense in which he didn’t pass at all in the second half certainly wasn’t inspiring. It is my hope that he can make his almost-rookie mistakes in the first three powder puff games next year and be ready for the Big Ten season.
Pete Hallman says
When you say you don’t think Robinson is NFL material, I asume you mean as a quarterback. I agree. I, however, see him getting drafted in a mid-to-low round because of his pure athleticism, strength and competitiveness. He’s a project for sure, but a guy I see some teams willing to take a chance on. Of course, I don’t know anything about what I’m expounding on. As usual.
The Nittany Turkey says
Pete, so you envision Robinson as a “slash” type of NFL player? I guess a lot depends on his attitude and what compromises he is willing to make. Remember Kordell Stewart (if you’re a Steelers fan, you probably have a mental block), who was quite a serviceable slot receiver but who really wanted to be quarterback. He was mediocre at best at that position and his NFL career was curtailed because of it. On the other hand–and I’m using Steelers examples again–you have Hines Ward and Antawaan Randle El, who accepted their roles as wide receiver, running occasional trick plays that call upon their quarterbacking abilities. Robinson might fit into a scheme like that for the right NFL team if he was willing to accept a non-QB role. I just don’t think his lack of passing accuracy and his tunnel vision can ever be fixed. Given the speed and skills of corners, safeties, and even linebackers in NFL pass coverages, he would be a disaster.
But that’s just what I think and if I knew what I was talking about, I’d be an NFL scout. In a league where Kevin Thompson actually had a job for a while, anything might happen.