Brian Robison knows the questions he's about to face long before anyone has a chance to ask them.
"Can I last a whole game, and can I play the run?" said Robison, who replaces Ray Edwards as the Vikings' starting left defensive end. "That's what I've heard since I got here five [seasons] ago."
The questions take on more significance now that Robison is a full-time starter for the first time. He has been an effective situational pass rusher, but his career high for starts (five) and tackles (25) came as a rookie in 2007.
"I don't think there's any pressure on Brian," Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar said. "B-Rob has been here five years, played a lot of ball. It's the same defense. He'll be doing the same things, only he's with the first group and not the second group."
As a backup, Robison played 20 to 25 snaps per game on average. As a starter, he will play 45 to 50, including some at tackle.
"The added snaps are no problem for B-Rob," Dunbar said. "Ray Edwards didn't start off playing 45 to 50 snaps."
The Vikings made the decision to go with Robison over Edwards not long after last season. They signed Robison to a three-year, $14.1 million deal with a $6.5 million signing bonus right before the NFL lockout began. After the lockout ended, the Vikings made no effort to re-sign Edwards, who went to Atlanta for a five-year, $30 million deal that included $11 million guaranteed.
Robison played in 14 games with four starts last season. He was 15th on the team in tackles (18) but fourth in quarterback hurries (15). He also had two sacks.
Robison also knows the only way he can convince people he's not a potential liability as a starter is to, well, start.
"If you look at my résumé, I showed that I can hold up for a whole game, and I showed I can stop the run," Robison said. "Now, it's just a matter of being able to do it for 16 games."