NFL Nation: Terry Robiskie

Brian Robiskie, Terry RobiskieTodd Kirkland/Icon SMIBrian Robiskie and Terry Robiskie enjoyed their first game together, a Falcons victory.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- If there was one thing Terry Robiskie always preached to his oldest son, Brian, it was not to worry about being pretty.

The advice had nothing to do with time spent in front of mirror or inside a high-end department store. It had everything to do with the manner in which the elder Robiskie, the Atlanta Falcons' assistant head coach, viewed the change in attitude for wide receivers over the years.

"These guys coming out of college now, they're always trying to worry about how they look," said Terry Robiskie, who works with the Falcons' receivers. "They always have their gloves on. They have their high stockings. Some of them have the white sleeves on. And when they run their routes, they run them to be pretty.

"I'm not concerned with you looking pretty. I'm concerned with you playing fast and making a play. I don't care how dirty and ugly and bad you look. But do it fast, and go make a play."

It the past, Terry Robiskie's only method of reiterating those words to his son was via telephone. He never coached Brian at any level and didn't try to intervene with his son's coaches.

[+] EnlargeBrian Robiskie
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesBrian Robiskie played mostly on special teams during his Falcons debut.
So when Brian, a former second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2009, joined the Falcons' receiving corps on Oct. 10, you could imagine the feeling that trickled down the father's spine.

"It's a good feeling -- a great feeling -- being able to coach your son," Terry said. "I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to have a great time with it.

"I was able to sit and watch him all those years and call him and say, 'Hey, you did this wrong. This was nice. This was wrong.' Now I've got a chance to stand up next to him and say, 'Do it this way, don't do it that way.' We just have to see if we can carry it over into the game."

Brian Robiskie saw his first action for the Falcons last week with two snaps on offense and 11 on special teams. He didn't catch pass in his Falcons debut, but he was targeted once in the end zone.

It remains unclear if he'll have an increased role on offense Sunday at Arizona. But the 25-year-old already has made an impression on special teams, head coach Mike Smith said.

No matter how the remainder of the season unfolds, Brian Robiskie is sure to relish the experience of working alongside his father. He already appreciates the tough love given to him throughout the years.

"I remember one time in high school, I had like 10 catches in a game my junior year," Brian Robiskie recalled. "I thought I played well. My dad got the tape and looked at it and didn't like how I was blocking. He took me out the next day, found a field, and we were out there doing blocking drills until 10 p.m.

"I enjoy him all the time. I've got a dad who is coaching football, so he understands everything I'm going through."

It's no surprise who Brian turned to during the difficult times in his short NFL career. He came to the NFL with great promise out of Ohio State but didn't fulfill those expectations. His stint with the Browns lasted 31 games before he got released. He had a short stay in Jacksonville when current Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter orchestrated the Jaguars' offense, but Robiskie never appeared in a regular-season game while there.

Terry Robiskie It's a good feeling -- a great feeling -- being able to coach your son. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to have a great time with it.

-- Terry Robiskie
Last season, Brian played in six games for Detroit and even caught a pass in front of his father when the Falcons beat the Lions, 31-18. But he was released twice by the Lions this past offseason.

"My dad just told me to control the things I could control," Brian said. "That was something I didn't really understand at first. But there are only so many things you can do. And the end of the day, you have to just do your job."

Although the younger Robiskie made no excuses for why his NFL career hasn't panned out thus far, the father had no problem speaking up on his son's behalf.

"As you've watched over the years, I think Cleveland has gone through a lot of changes and a lot of things have happened," said Terry Robiskie, once the interim head coach for the Browns (2004). "I think sometimes, kids just end up in situations where you don't really get to jell. They ended up taking a quarterback -- Colt [McCoy, in 2010]. Then we went on strike. They had the lockout [in 2011]. Next thing you know, they're all down in Texas just kind of throwing the ball around. And everybody thinks that's football. It's not organized football. They never jelled.

"I thought Brian had a pretty good stint for Jacksonville. But Jacksonville, at that particular time, had a lot of money tied up in their receiver spots. I think he was going to be No. 5 or No. 6. Unfortunately, they had a guy they liked better on special teams. So he went to Detroit, and I thought he did well. Then unfortunately this summer, he was in the weight room doing some benching and he hurts his back. And lo and behold, they say it's going to be an eight-week injury, so Detroit decided to let him go."

Season-ending foot surgery for Julio Jones and lingering hamstring and ankle injuries to Roddy White have given Brian Robiskie a chance to stick with the Falcons. The father vowed not to be partial toward his son, despite the circumstances. In fact, he stopped and yelled at his son during their first practice together.

"It might be a different deal that I'm coaching a kid named Brian Robiskie," Terry Robiskie said, "but I tell people all the time that Roddy White isn't Roddy White and Julio Jones isn't Julio Jones. Roddy is Roddy Robiskie. Julio is Julio Robiskie. Harry Douglas is Harry Robiskie.

"All my guys that I coach, I coach them the same. I think the difference is with this one, I'm sleeping next to his mom."
Following the loss of top receiver Julio Jones to season-ending foot surgery, the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with free-agent receiver Brian Robiskie on a one-year contract, a league source confirmed to ESPN.com.

Robiskie
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Robiskie has the size to fill the role of a big receiver. He was a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2009 following a stellar career at Ohio State. Robiskie started 14 games in three seasons with the Browns. He then spent time with Jacksonville, and last season played in six games for Detroit.

Robiskie has 43 career receptions for 485 yards and four touchdowns. His longest reception was a 46-yard touchdown with the Browns. The Falcons became accustomed to such explosive-type plays with Jones.

Jones is scheduled to have surgery Monday, and will be placed on season-ending injured reserve. Robiskie will fill Jones’ roster spot.

Robiskie is the son of Falcons assistant head coach Terry Robiskie, who works with the wide receivers.

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn won a football game last Sunday -- but you'd never know it by reading or listening to the local media. At least the in-house columnist still has Zorn's back -- sort of.

You would think that the 0-for-'08 Lions would be the desperate team heading into Sunday's game against the Redskins, but they've got nothing to lose. No one's heaping pressure on first-year head coach Jim Schwartz and rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford to win now -- except maybe themselves.

With the Redskins, you have a second-year head coach and a quarterback who don't have much if any margin for error. Even on a Dan Snyder-owned radio station (980 ESPN), Zorn was asked about his job security heading into Week 3. And unfortunately it's a relevant question at this point. If Zorn and the Redskins lose Sunday, fans and some members of the media will start calling for the coach to be fired.

Just ask Norv Turner whether Snyder's willing to make an in-season coaching change. Turner's Redskins were 7-6 in 2000 when Snyder turned things over to Terry Robiskie for the rest of the season. And with an experienced defensive coordinator like Greg Blache on the staff, history could repeat itself.

Is it poor form to speculate on a man's job only two games into a season? Well, maybe that was the case in a different era. This is now a league that produces wild overreactions from week to week -- and that's just from the owners. With all that's going on in the Redskins organization -- the crackdown on financially strapped season-ticket holders and overall discontent with the on-field product -- Snyder's not going to take the patient route.

As ridiculous as this sounds, Zorn might be in a must-win situation heading into Detroit. I don't think he would be fired after a loss Sunday, but it would certainly get the ball rolling in that direction. If the Redskins are no better than 3-3 heading into the Oct. 26 game against the Eagles, I think there's a chance Snyder fires Zorn. When I brought up a scenario similar to that with Chris Mortensen on Thursday, he didn't rule out the possibility of that happening.

Honestly, I'd like to see Zorn get a full second season. Will it happen?

I wouldn't bet on it.

Browns snag WR Robiskie

April, 25, 2009
4/25/09
8:04
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns continue to surprise with their picks by taking Ohio State receiver Brian Robiskie in the second round (No. 36 overall).

Robiskie was a coveted receiver moving up the draft boards. But similar to their first-round pick, Cal center Alex Mack (No. 21), the Browns may have reached early in the second round.

The Browns certainly have a need for receiver following the release of veteran Joe Jurevicius and pending legal trouble with Donte Stallworth. Robiskie could help. He also spent part of his youth in Cleveland as a ball boy with the Browns as his father, Terry, was a former assistant.

"I would have to say it's like coming home," Terry Robiskie said over the phone.

"I feel so blessed to have the opportunity," Brian Robiskie added.

The Browns have two more picks in the second round.

 
  Getty Images
  The NFC South has three head coaches returning from last season, but which team has the best coaching staff?

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Free agency is still a few weeks away, but the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are the NFC South's two biggest winners in the first phase of the offseason. The Carolina Panthers might have been the biggest loser and it's too early to fully judge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In a very busy few weeks for most of the division's coaching staffs, Atlanta was able to keep its stellar group largely in place for the most part. The Saints didn't sit still and they made some moves that will make them a better team. Carolina curiously had most of its defensive staff walk away and also lost a very underrated offensive assistant.

The Bucs were the only team to make a change at the top, replacing Jon Gruden with Raheem Morris, and that led to an overhaul of most of the staff.

With all those changes so fresh, I'm going to rank the coaching staffs for the four NFC South teams. Keep in mind, the head coach certainly factors into this, but this ranking is for the entire coaching staff.

1. Atlanta Falcons. The best thing Mike Smith did when he took over as coach of the Falcons a year ago was to assemble an all-star team of assistants that included the likes of Mike Mularkey, Emmitt Thomas and Terry Robiskie. There's no doubt that coaching staff played a huge role in Atlanta's dramatic turnaround.

The best thing Smith has done so far this offseason was keep that staff pretty much intact. Some of that's just plain luck. Mularkey and Robiskie were mentioned in connection with head-coaching jobs, but neither became serious players. That's a huge stroke of luck because it gives the Falcons continuity on the coaching staff as they head into the second year of what Smith likes to call "the process."

That process is going to be a lot smoother because the Falcons can hit the ground running. If Mularkey and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave were able to get so much out of quarterback Matt Ryan in his rookie year, imagine what they can do when they've got him for a full offseason.

That's kind of the same story for this entire coaching staff. After a surprising 11-5 season, it's easy to forget that Atlanta's roster wasn't fully stocked last season. In particular, offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, Thomas and defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder squeezed far more out of their groups than they had any right to.

Give general manager Thomas Dimitroff another offseason to fully get the roster where he wants and this coaching staff could really make the Falcons special.

2. New Orleans Saints. The jury still is very much out on head coach Sean Payton. He had a great rookie season in 2006, but the Saints have disappointed the last two seasons. There's a lot of personnel work to be done in the coming months, but Payton has made some strong moves with his coaching staff.

There's change at both coordinator positions and Payton did the smart thing by sticking with what's been working and blowing up what hasn't. After offensive coordinator Doug Marrone left for the head job at Syracuse, Payton promoted Pete Carmichael Jr. to his spot, basically tweaking an offensive staff that's had one of the league's most-productive units in recent years.

Payton took a dramatically different approach on defense, where he fired coordinator Gary Gibbs, whose group underachieved the last two years. In a move that's critical to Payton's future, he went out and (after some heavy bidding against other teams) got the best defensive coordinator available. That's Gregg Williams. There's no doubt Williams can coach and he'll bring an aggressive style to a defense that's been too passive. Now, it's up to general manager Mickey Loomis to get Williams some more players.

3. Carolina Panthers. Once upon a time -- like back in 2003 -- broadcaster and former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson said John Fox had the league's best group of assistants. You can't say that right now. Continuity had been one of the best virtues of this coaching staff -- until now. In a bizarre series of events, almost the entire defensive staff walked away from the Panthers.

A lot of fans got excited when defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac declined a new contract with the Panthers and left to become Green Bay's defensive line coach. But the venom from fans toward Trgovac the last few years was misdirected. Fox was the one ultimately calling the defensive shots and Trgovac was working within his parameters.

The Panthers brought in Ron Meeks to replace Trgovac, who might look a lot better in hindsight. Although Meeks officially resigned as defensive coordinator in Indianapolis, the fact is he was forced out. Oh, and defense wasn't exactly a big part of the reason the Colts had all those 12-win seasons.

On a more subtle note, the Panthers lost quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Mike McCoy to the offensive coordinator spot in Denver. This will hurt the Panthers more than many realize. McCoy was very instrumental in running this offense and the former Utah quarterback also was one of the guys the team relied on to try to keep receiver Steve Smith on an even keel.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In time, Morris might turn out to be a great head coach. But it's too early to tell if the 32-year-old, who served as a coordinator for all of two weeks, will succeed. Give Morris credit for assembling a decent staff at a time when a lot of positions around the league already had been filled.

He made a great hire in bringing in veteran defensive coordinator Jim Bates. In a lot of ways, Bates' experience will give the Bucs someone similar to former coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Morris' most critical hire was Jeff Jagodzinski as offensive coordinator. The former Boston College head coach has been a coordinator in the NFL before and he likes to throw the ball downfield. That's something Gruden's offense rarely did. In theory, Jagodzinski should be a good fit. In reality, he's going to need a very productive offseason from general manager Mark Dominik. The Bucs need to re-sign receiver Antonio Bryant and get a few more receivers. But the biggest challenge is going to be deciding on a quarterback and letting Jagodzinski, who worked with Matt Ryan at Boston College, develop
him.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets
Buffalo Bills

New England Patriots

Why not the Falcons?

December, 28, 2008
12/28/08
7:14
PM ET
 
 Kevin Terrell/Getty Images
 Mike Smith, left, and Matt Ryan have the Atlanta Falcons on a roll heading into the playoffs.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

ATLANTA -- In the postgame locker room Sunday at the Georgia Dome, a slogan was reborn.

What it lacks in originality is made up for by the possibility that it just might fit the Atlanta Falcons better than any team that ever has used the rallying cry.

"The message is, 'Why not us?'" coach Mike Smith said.

Why not?

As they enter the playoffs, the Falcons just might be the most dangerous team in the NFC. They're the hottest, entering the playoffs on a three-game winning streak. The top-seeded Giants and No. 2 Carolina are the obvious favorites and the most complete teams in the NFC.

"Why not us?" Atlanta receiver Roddy White said. "We're a good team. We beat a lot of good teams."

The Falcons just might have a point. At the moment, Atlanta has as much going for it as any team. Here are five reasons why the Falcons could win the NFC:

(Read full post)

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