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Michael Robinson’s groundbreaking season just broke more new ground.
The Seahawks’ fullback was added to the NFC Pro Bowl squad Thursday after John Kuhn pulled out because of a knee injury he got in the Green Bay Packers playoff loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. Robinson was the first alternate behind Kuhn in voting by conference coaches and players, as well as fans.
The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 29 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, where Robinson will join free safety Earl Thomas, who was voted the starter on the NFC squad. Robinson will join John L. Williams and Mack Strong as Seahawks fullbacks to play in the Pro Bowl.
And Robinson’s first Pro Bowl comes after his first season as a true lead-blocking fullback. Robinson, who was a quarterback at Penn State, had played fullback with the Seahawks in 2010 and also during his four-season stay with the San Francisco 49ers, but never to the extent he did this season in helping Marshawn Lynch become the Seahawks’ first 1,000-yarder rusher since 2005 and score in a club-record 11 consecutive games.
“It was good to see this offense grow. It was good to see this team grow,” Robinson said as the players were clearing out their lockers following the season-ending loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
“I think this team took a turn this year from last year. It went from the coaches pretty much directing us to this year we kind of took ownership of the team and it became our team. That’s what you like to see at this level.”
Robinson definitely was one of those leading the way in this favorable turn.
Prior to the season, he was voted a special teams co-captain. After the team struggled to a 2-6 start, Robinson helped shove the running game into a much more productive gear, as the Seahawks averaged 134.9 yards in the final nine games compared to 77.7 in the first seven.
Individually, Robinson scored the first receiving touchdown of his career, returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, finished tied for third with 10 coverage tackles on special teams and forced a fumble that set up a touchdown. But mostly, Robinson helped Lynch do his Beast Mode thing by throwing his 6-foot-1, 223-pound body into much larger linebackers – including the Ravens’ Ray Lewis, the 49ers’ Patrick Willis, the Redskins’ London Fletcher and the Bears’ Brian Urlacher.
“He doesn’t have this on his jersey for no reason,” Lynch said, pointing to the captain’s patch on Robinson’s jersey.
“(Being voted a first alternate) was only right for him. He’s a player that can do that. I just run behind him.”
Robinson’s handyman efforts did not go unnoticed – when it came time to vote of the Pro Bowl, obviously; but also by his teammates. Among the items Robinson was packing up on Jan. 2 was a tool belt that the other running backs had presented him.
“This is my tool belt,” Robinson said, unable to hold back a smile. “It signifies that I come to work and I can fix a lot of problems. That’s going to be in my locker forever now.”
Including his locker at the Pro Bowl.