Robison's added incentive could produce more sacks

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 23, 2012 - 7:15 AM

The defensive end says he now also plays for his newborn daughter.

Brian Robison's soft Texas drawl is calming but deceptive. At first you think the Vikings' left defensive end is cool, maybe even laid back.

This is deceiving.

Listen to a practice sometime, when that drawl turns into an incessant chirp. Then watch the intensity. "I've been going against him for three-plus years now," said right offensive tackle Phil Loadholt. "Every year it seems he gets better at something."

Or simply bring up the subject of playing time. Talk this camp has been of using a deep rotation to keep defensive linemen fresh. So, Brian, what do you think?

Pause.

"They're going to have to pull teeth to get me out of the game," Robison said, the drawl acquiring an edge.

Robison waited a long time to get into the starting lineup. Drafted out of the University of Texas in the fourth round in 2007, Robison spent his first four seasons mainly as an effective but situational pass rusher, waiting for his chance to be a full-time starter.

It came last season. Having signed a three-year, $14.1 million contract, and with Ray Edwards gone, Robison was inserted into the starting lineup and responded with 4 1/2 sacks in the first five games. There was a midseason lull, but Robison finished strong, ending up with career highs in sacks (eight) and forced fumbles (three), and he was second on the team with 40 quarterback hurries.

You might think going from full- to part-time would have hindered Robison as a pass rusher. Not at all, he said. Indeed, starting and playing the majority of the snaps only made his pass rushing more diverse.

It's the game within the game. When Robison was a situational guy, he'd come in and, usually, use his speed to try to pressure the quarterback.

"Once you get into a situation where you're rushing a guy 30, 40 times a game, it's definitely about setting things up," Robison said. "You might lose one or two times on a speed rush just to be able to set up a spin or something like that."

Robison's edge speed is the first thing you notice. He's 6-3, 259 pounds, not huge by NFL standards, but much of that weight runs from Robison's hips through his lower back.

A natural knee bend allows Robison to get leverage on much bigger tackles, allowing him to get to an inside move or use a bull rush, should a tackle play him for an outside rush. The powerful torso that made Robison a national-caliber shot-putter in college translates well to the trenches of an NFL game, allowing him to be stout against the run.

"The thing he can do is turn quickly from speed to power," Loadholt said.

After a strong camp, it appears Robison is ready to take another step up the statistical ladder. Loadholt has seen the improvement. Fellow defensive end Jared Allen has, too. Earlier in camp, Allen predicted great things for Robison.

"He's a double-digit sack guy," Allen said. "I think he's a 10-plus-sack guy every year. You get that kind of production out of both sides, and they have to choose who they're going to block."

Brendan Daly has seen the leap in Robison's game, too. Daly, the team's new defensive line coach, was assistant line coach with the team from 2006-08. He reviewed film of the 2011 season.

"I saw a guy who had matured and developed as a player," Daly said. "I was pleasantly surprised, for sure."

Robison won't go into specific numbers, but he expects improvement, too.

"I'm very critical of myself," he said. "Even as good a year as I had last year, I wasn't happy with it. I don't feel I left plays out on the field from a lack of hustle, but I left some out there, where I felt if I had done one or two things better I could have been there a step faster."

Robison has even more to play for this year. His wife, Jayme, recently had their first child, Madelyn. If it was hard getting him off the field before, just try now.

"You're no longer playing for yourself," he said. "You're playing for your family. I have a little girl, and she's the light of my eye, and I'm going to play every snap for her. That guy across from me is going to reap the consequences of that, because now I'm trying to take care of my little girl, and he won't stop me from doing that."

  • related content

  • Depth welcomed in secondary by Frazier

    Thursday August 23, 2012

    After several seasons of struggling in the defensive backfield, the team looks loaded and ready to stop opposing receivers.

  • The Minnesota Vikings' Brian Robison (96) hovers over Detroit Lions qu...

  • VIKINGS PRESEASON Up next: 7 p.m. Friday vs. San Diego • Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 11 (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco 5 Top 7th Inning
Kansas City 0
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 83 4th Qtr 0:34
Miami 88
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 66 3rd Qtr 7:06
Denver 44
Phoenix 24 2nd Qtr
LA Lakers 17
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Golden State
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 3rd Prd 2:47
Nashville 3
Carolina 1 3rd Prd 3:22
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 3rd Prd
Chicago 3
Vancouver 2 3rd Prd 16:20
Dallas 6
Florida 2 2nd Prd 5:19
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Prd :34
Calgary 0
Arkansas State 23 3rd Qtr 8:31
Louisiana 34
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close