Robinson, Damien

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'I wonder if the NFL regard this as a prop?'
Damien Robinson is a former safety fo the New York Jets, playing from 2001 to 2002.


Background and college

Born December 22, 1973 in Dallas, Texas, and attended high school there. Robinson then went to the University of Iowa, where in a blowout defeat by Ohio State, he was flattened by Terry Glenn.

NFL Career

Before the Jets

Robinson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1998. He didn't miss a game the following two years, and in 2000 he had 71 tackles and a career-high six interceptions and 11 passes defended.

As a Jet

Herman Edwards, the new Jets head coach who had arrived from Tampa brought in Robinson to help smooth the transition to a Tampa Bay style of defense. Robinson signed a five-year contract for $10 million. 'Everything that's put on the blackboard is not always interpreted,' Robinson said. 'I can break it down. I guess you would say in layman's terms, I make it more simple. Guys were skeptical at first, but now the guys are starting to buy into what Herm is selling. The guys know Herm's going to have us prepared for the games'. Didn't always work out that way, though. The 2001 season was a memorable one, but for all the wrong reasons. Two major incidents occurred within a couple of weeks of each other.

First, he was arrested for possession of an assault rifle before a game at Giants Stadium. The rifle and ammunition were found during a routine search of Robinson's Lincoln Navigator as he, his wife and his two young daughters entered the players' parking lot in East Rutherford, N.J. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the vehicles of players, team and game officials and the news media had to pass through security checkpoints at the stadium. A bomb-sniffing dog reacted to the ammunition, and a search revealed Robinson's cache: a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle -- the same caliber as an Army assault weapon -- three high-capacity magazines that hold 30 rounds each and two boxes of ammunition containing 100 rounds each. It was announced Robinson would be fined a week's pay -- about $30,000 -- by the team and will have to undergo counseling and perform community service after his arrest for possession of an assault rifle before Sunday's game at Giants Stadium.

Sadly, the helmet didn't have a head inside
Then, on November 4th, 2001 at the Louisiana Superdome, the Jets were leading the New Orleans Saints, 16-9, late in the ball game. After a routine offensive play, Robinson inexplicably grabbed the facemask of Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks and continually pulled at the mask. Saints offensive lineman Kyle Turley was furious, pulled Robinson's helmet off, flung it across the field, and made an obscene gesture. Robinson later was fined $20,000 by the NFL for his actions.

2002 didn't turn out to be much of an improvement. After a 29-25 loss to Kansas City in which the Jets had given up two fourth quarter touchdowns, Robinson, who had an interception but also missed a tackle on Dante Hall's 60-yard touchdown reception, seemed to indict the defensive play-calling. angering Ted Cottrell and a number of defensive players. The row was glossed over eventually, but Robinson's days were numbered. In his final game with the Jets, Robinson was victimized by Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon's pump fakes in a 30-10 playoff loss to Oakland. In two seasons with the Jets, Robinson had only four interceptions, two fewer than he had in 2000, his final season in Tampa Bay. Robinson was released soon after the end of the season.

After the Jets

Robinson signed as a free agent with Seattle in 2003 and started 4 of 15 games, recording 30 tackles and 1 interception, but missed all of 2004 with a shoulder injury, and was released in early 2005. He hasn't returned to the NFL.

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