When the San Francisco 49ers drafted RB/FB Michael Robinson in the fourth-round (No. 100) of the 2006 NFL Draft, I knew it was a right move for a team struggling for cultural identity. A player that brought leadership, charisma, and versatility, there was no reason why Robinson would not make the 49ers roster, despite converting primarily to a running back in the NFL.
The former Penn State product, Robinson was used in a variety of roles in order to make the most of his ability, as he played quarterback, running back, slot-back, and split-end. A jack of all trades type of player, the 49ers have since been looking for a replacement for TE Delanie Walker as he was used in a similar role while with the team. A name Walker earned, as he was nicknamed the “Swiss Army” knife due to his versatility, Robinson would be a valuable asset to the 49ers roster.
Playing for the 49ers from 2006-2009, Robinson had 86 carries for 289 yards, and two touchdowns. And although those stats are far from impressive, his versatility was, as Robinson played running back, fullback, and special-teams during his tenure in San Francisco. A player that was well respected in the locker room, Robinson played with heart, toughness, and smarts, all qualities of a Harbaugh type player. And Robinson spoke on his versatility and lackluster stats, as he said:
I’m not a big stat guy. The things I do for a team really don’t show up in the stats, so I just want to help the team win. Point blank.
However, should the Niners sign Robinson, it will force them to release another player.
So the question remains, is Robinson worth the investment? I would say absolutely yes!
For one, Robinson would provide great intel coming from the Seattle Seahawks who recently released him, due to his high $2.5 million base salary, and would provide the 49ers with valuable information. And although some hand signals, play calls, and formations may change during the course of the season, Robinson is smart enough to decipher some of those and relate them to the 49ers coaching staff.
Aside from his ties with Seattle, Robinson is a better all-around talent than ILB Nate Stupar and DE Tony Jerod-Eddie. Not taking positions into account, Robinson provides more value as he is a special-teams ace, not to mention being named to the Pro Bowl in 2011 as a fullback alternate. A team captain while playing for Mike Singletary and one of my favorite players while in San Francisco, Robinson would provide the Niners with more than just a versatile player, but a smart athlete that can also play the pistol if needed. A player that is known to have a very high football IQ, Robinson would thrive under 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s offense, as his understanding of the game of football is through the roof.
In addition to Robinson’s smarts, it’s his veteran leadership that will be most valuable. One aspect of Robinson’s game that I truly admire is his work ethic. He is a beast in the weight-room, and you can tell by just glancing at his biceps, the dude has guns. A powerful runner between the tackles, Robinson can also deliver a few bone crushing blows, especially at the “personal protector” position on special-teams.
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Off the field, Robinson is as media friendly as they come. In fact, Robinson had his own show called the “Robinson Report” while playing for the 49ers that rivaled T Joe Staley’s “The Joe Show,” on 49ers.com. A hobby Robinson loves, he continued to have his own show called the “The Real Rob Report” while in Seattle. A personal touch to allow fan’s an inside look of the life of a NFL player, Robinson does what he can to bridge the gap between fandom and celebrities.
If the 49ers want to clean up their special teams while adding a player that will surely make the team better, than it would be a match made in heaven to sign Robinson as he is clearly a top notch special teams player that is well respected among his peers.
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