Koren Robinson is 23, and in two seasons as the Seahawks'
franchise wideout he has caught 117 passes. Yet in some ways he
still thinks of himself as a rookie. The 6'1", 205-pound Robinson
had two years of eligibility left at North Carolina State when he
entered the 2001 draft and was chosen with the ninth pick. Had he
stayed in school, he would be preparing for his first NFL game on
Sunday against the Saints. As it is, he's trying to maintain his
fast-track rate of development: He doubled his rookie-year total
with 78 catches last year, for 1,240 yards, and has set goals of
105 catches and 1,500 yards this year.
"Coming out at 21, I had to take two years to learn how to play
the position in the NFL," he says. "This year I'll still be
learning how to run routes from all the places they'll play
me--left, right, in the slot, split wide."
Seattle led the NFL in total offense over the final seven weeks
of last season partly because of the deep-route connection formed
by Robinson and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Barring injuries
they should get off to a fast start this year. In their first six
games the Seahawks face four teams (the Saints, Cards, 49ers and
Bears) that ranked in the bottom 10 in the NFL in pass defense
last year, plus one team (the Rams) with an injury-riddled