One-on-One With Zac Robinson

Former Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson is back in Stillwater this weekend and was there alongside his parents to salute his younger sister, Katie Ann, as she went through Senior Day festivities for the OSU pom squad when the Cowboys hosted Texas Tech on Saturday.

Robinson is the Cowboys all-time leader in passing yards (8,317), total offense (10,175 yards), and touchdown passes (66). Robinson just completed his rookie season in the NFL that took him to New England (seventh-round draft choice), Seattle, and Detroit.

Robinson is currently under contract to the Detroit Lions and waiting out the NFL collective bargaining agreement to go to work on his second NFL season in the "Motor City." Robert Allen caught up with him for a few questions.

RA: How are you?
Robinson: It's good to hear your voice again. I'm living in Denver, home here in the offseason and I've been back since our season ended and I'm hear waiting to see what will happen with the lockout and go from there.

RA: Your first NFL season and three cities, how did that feel for you?
Robinson: You know it was definitely an interesting experience and I didn't expect to be in so many places. I was in New England and that is a great organization and they wanted me to be on their practice squad and be the third guy (at QB) and I thought my opportunities would be better at a different spot, and there were four or five different teams that I thought would be better to get an opportunity to be bumped up from their practice squad. I felt like Seattle was a better situation. I went out there and loved my time out there. Coach (Pete) Carroll is a great guy and really has that group going. Then the next thing I know I was active, and then when they tried to put me back on the practice squad in that 24-hour window the Lions picked me up. I am pretty excited to be up there. It is an up and coming organization and we won our last four games of the season. We have a lot of good young talent and I am glad to be a part of it.

RA: A lot of fans want to know what it was like to be a teammate of Tom Brady. He is like a rock star in the NFL?
Robinson: There is no doubt that he is a cut above in the NFL. He is one of the faces of the NFL. It was a lot of fun and actually I had a locker between Tom Brady and Randy Moss when I got up there. Just being able to pick his brain because he is so smart and knowledgeable about the game, running the same system for 10-plus years now. It was a lot of fun to be up there and see how he does things, how he works out, and his time and preparation to be so successful. I enjoyed my time up there and he had another great season being MVP and everything. He deserves it because he works his butt off.

RA: You were in Seattle and that is such a great place. You had played there at Qwest Field in college against Washington State and that may be one of the nicest stadiums in football.
Robinson: Seattle was definitely a great place and (Matt) Hasselbeck took me under his wing when I got there, and the city of Seattle is great. Like you said, Qwest Field is great and they sell it out every week and the crowd is loud, people go nuts there. They pride themselves on leading the league in false starts. They have a ridiculous amount of those because it is so loud. It was great there and I really enjoyed myself.

RA: Then it was off to Detroit, reunited with Brandon Pettigrew, and the Lions had quarterback problems so you were needed. How did you feel about all that?
Robinson: It was fun being back up there with Brandon and they love him up there. He broke the single-season record for receptions for a tight end in the Lions organization. I had to definitely get myself ready to play. I was the backup one week in Seattle, but there were about four times (in Detroit) where I was one play away from being out there at quarterback. It was fun to get that mental preparation in as if I was going to play because you never really know (about yourself) until you get out there and do it (in the NFL).

RA: You mentioned the Lions are an up and coming team. It is different with Detroit because in New England and Seattle you were in there behind older quarterbacks. In Detroit the starter is former Georgia QB Matt Stafford, who you played against in college.
Robinson: It was a little bit different and I know Matthew from the Manning camp and it was a little different being there with him. It was fun but we have a veteran quarterback in Shaun Hill, who is like a Hasselback in that he would take you under his wing and show us how he does things. That was good for me and I think Matt too in learning how to run the system, and I only had a few weeks to pick things up before I had to be ready to play.

RA: Okay, I know you are good friends with Brandon Weeden, your successor at OSU. How much were you able to keep up with it, and I'm guessing you weren't shocked with how well he played?
Robinson: Honestly, I talked to Brandon about once a week, and we would talk about who he was playing and what those teams did on defense, typical quarterback stuff. I got to see some games and it was exciting to see how that offense was putting up points. That was a lot of fun to watch and great to see the program doing well. There was no doubt that I knew Brandon would do well. He just needed to play. He has talent and then he called me the minute (Dana) Holgorsen came in, and we used to love watching that offense when he was at Houston and we would sit on the sideline when we played them and see the cool things that they did on offense. I knew Brandon could sling it around pretty good and I knew other teams didn't really know what was there.

RA: Okay, now all of this labor negotiation is dominating the NFL news ... lockout, strike, all of it? You are just a year in the league and while the issues in the collective bargaining agreement are important, you are just wanting to establish yourself as a player, right?
Robinson: I really hope they get it resolved. The main thing for me is I need the reps. I would like to throw in the OTAs (offseason training activities) and I would like to get up there here in a few weeks. I hope they get it resolved, but then you have to be prepared for a lockout. If there is a lockout then I will probably go train with the folks I did before the combine and my quarterback coach out there (in California). It's kind of out of our hands, so we have to see what happens.


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