It's Going To Be a Monster...

Another season, another reason for an underachieving player to excel. The name, however, might surprise you.

There has been a lot of heated discussion among the Seattle Seahawks Fans about the fate of Koren Robinson. Musing about why, time after time, Coach Holmgren has cut him some slack. About why he’s still on the team. About how, with all of the other “character cuts” in the last few days, he’s not one of them. I’ve been scratching my head over this one as well.

Next year, Koren Robinson becomes a free agent.

Wonder no more why – for the first time – Koren has reported to Kirkland for off-season workouts. No longer is it a mystery. Koren has convinced himself that if he finally has that monster year he’s been promising for the past two, then the pot of gold will be there at the end of the rainbow. Never mind the countless suspensions, benching, fines, and other disciplinary actions he’s faced over the years. Never mind the numerous dropped passes. Never mind the lackadaisical effort during practices. The alleged drug use. Being late for team meetings. Breaking the most simple of team rules.

Oh no. None of that matters now. Koren has finally decided to stop taking for granted the money and fan adoration (such as it is) and actually apply himself this year.

Examples of it working abound. All he had to do is read the newspaper the past month or two. Or look around the locker room. Shaun Alexander gets a 6 million dollar franchise tag. Ken Lucas gets his overboard signing bonus. Matt got his bling bling. Not to mention Walter Jones, but heck, he is one of the best in the league, every year. All of them got paid very well, even if some of them didn’t actually perform as well in previous years.

So, forgive Koren for actually thinking it will work.

I’m sure Koren is a swell guy. Nice young man. Funny, a goofball, friendly, outgoing, and easy to talk to. It’s those kinds of traits that endears him to the front office, and fellow players. Well, some of them. His interviews with the media make him out to be so likeable, it’s almost childish in its presentation.

But, it’s those same traits that will win out in the end, and other teams will know it.

For all of Koren’s obvious skills as a player – and he’s had flashes of greatness from time to time, it’s his single lack of consistency as well as his much publicized attitude problems that will doom him and whatever team decides to take that chance on him in the future. You simply can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Oh, I don’t doubt he’ll manage to stay focused for a season. It’s not that hard, especially if you can keep reminding yourself that a little bit of pain and dedication can be so rewarding. I hope he does have that monster year he’s been promising to the fans, the coaches, the media, the front office, and to his team mates. They all deserve it. It’s the least they should expect from a professional athlete. I also hope that notes are taken on everyone’s side about what could be the end result by looking at Shaun Alexander’s reaction when after having his “monster year” for free agency he pouts and whines like a two year old.

Talk about stabbed in the back. If Shaun thinks he was treated bad for missing the rushing title by one yard, getting slapped with the Franchise Tag must have twisted that knife in his back six ways to Sunday. What would be Koren’s reaction if at the end of the year, after his breakout season, where he caught a dozen touchdowns, gained 1200+ receiving yards, and had 100 receptions, and he’s slapped with the franchise tag as well? Would he feel just as betrayed? Would he be able to sustain that effort for a second year in a row? Would he finally have grown out of his teenager attitude and actually realize he’s expected to perform for the money he’s being paid? And would he revert to his old ways if he did manage to sign a long term lucrative deal somewhere? What would he think if after that monster year, there wasn’t that pot of gold as he expects?

So many questions.

I’m pretty sure that at this juncture, the rest of the world doesn’t really care, as long as Koren actually performs as the professional he’s supposed to be this season.

We shall see.

Glenn Geiss writes the Fan Noise column for Seahawks.NET. Feel free to send him feedback at awpilot@wavecable.com.

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