However, as de facto founder, coach and general manager of the Vikings’ bowling team “Pin Busters,” the little speedster has issues.
“We’re in 10th place,” Robinson said of his entry in the Monday night men’s league at Town Hall Lanes in Minneapolis.
How many teams?
“Ten,” he fessed up. “But, in our defense, we got started late.”
The league started in August. Robinson and his 15-pound Hammer ball didn’t arrive in town until Sept. 17, when the Vikings needed another deep threat. Then, two weeks later, he and former Redskins teammate Kirk Cousins were busy connecting on two touchdown passes in a prime-time shootout loss to the Rams in Los Angeles.
“And we had to miss last Monday night, too,” Robinson said.
The Vikings had a game in Seattle. Pin Busters had a home game at the same time.
“It was a game-time decision,” Robinson said. “We chose Seattle.”
Robinson started bowling in 2012 when he was with Washington. Unlike most NFL players who dream of becoming a Pro Bowler, Robinson dreams of becoming an actual Pro Bowler.
“I’m legit,” he said. “I believe I can play with anybody. I’ve had an average of like 205. Best game is 290. Best league series was 740. Bowled good that day.”
But this fall, the overachieving football player with five touchdowns in 17 catches — including a 40-yarder in Sunday’s rout of the Dolphins — is underachieving on the lanes.
“My average is down in this league,” he said. “It’s about 185.”
(Feel free to start a “Fire Al-drick!” chant in 3, 2, 1 …)
As Pin Busters general manager, Robinson has depth issues. He needs three bowling teammates each week, and he has a locker room filled with 62 other football players to choose from.
And yet only two of them — tackle Storm Norton and tight end Cole Hikutini off the practice squad — are Pin Busters regulars. Storm is 6-7, 317 pounds and looks like he could bowl overhanded.
“When we first started playing, we would get noticed when Storm was there,” Hikutini said. “They’d come up to him and say, ‘Dude, you should play football.’ And we’re like, ‘Yeah, we play.’”
It didn’t take long for Robinson’s name to become recognizable. As a Viking, he’s doing what he’s done in Washington, Atlanta and San Francisco: Cross the goal line every 6.1 catches.
“Everybody knows I run deep a lot,” Robinson said. “So I know when the ball comes my way, it’s going to be a deep ball. And there’s a high-percent chance it’s going to be a touchdown.”
Robinson has 14 touchdowns in 86 career catches. When Buddy Ryan cut Cris Carter in Philadelphia in 1990 and famously said, “All he does is catch touchdowns,” Carter had 19 touchdowns in 89 career catches.
But, getting back to Pin Busters, Robinson says Norton averages “about 150” while Hikutini is “up to around 140” after being introduced to the game last spring when he and Robinson were with the 49ers.
“He’s lowballing me,” Norton says. “I’ve been in the 180s, 190s lately. I expect a big headline on this.”
“And I’ve been hot,” Hikutini said. “I bowled a 255 a couple weeks ago. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Uh-oh. There’s a schism on the Pin Busters.
Coach Robinson also can’t find a consistent No. 4 man to fill out his team. He’s used practice squad tackle Adam Bisnowaty, a non-playing friend who visited from out of town and even an opposing team’s No. 5 man.
“I talked to [receiver] Brandon Zylstra and he’s going to be our fourth,” Robinson said.
“Zylstra?” Norton said when he heard the news. “He always bails on us.”
“No way Zylstra shows up,” Hikutini said.
Robinson said he’s waiting to hear from tight end Tyler Conklin. And safety Jayron Kearse has become a definite maybe.
“JK speaks highly of himself as a bowler,” Robinson said. “We’ll see.”
What about Stefon Diggs?
“He’s not a bowler,” Robinson said. “I can tell.”
Adam Thielen? Your buddy Kirk?
“They’re golfers,” Robinson said. “I got some golf clubs once. Threw them away the next week. I couldn’t do it. Too frustrating. I found my niche with bowling.”
Good enough to go pro?
“Definitely,” Robinson said. “Once I’m done toying around here in the NFL.”
Mark Craig is an NFL and Vikings Insider. Twitter: @markcraigNFL. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org