Notebook: Childress Reacts to Robinson

Vikings coach Brad Childress defended the way WR Marcus Robinson was informed of his released and talked about their lines of communication. Plus, see what Rams coach Scott Linehan had to say about the versatility of RB Steven Jackson and get other notes and quotes from Winter Park.

Vikings coach Brad Childress defended the team's decision to release wide receiver Marcus Robinson and the manner in which it was done.

Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman contacted Robinson on Christmas Eve and notified him that the team would be releasing him. The Vikings officially did that on Tuesday.

Robinson, in separate interviews, said that there was a lack of communication between him and Childress. Childress on Wednesday denied that sentiment and said Robinson's public comments had no bearing on his release.

"I spent as much time talking to Marcus Robinson as any member of our football team, and maybe twice as much time talking to Marcus. I wish him the best as he goes on and it's just a matter of getting somebody that gives us the best chance to possibly impact this thing in the future," Childress said. "He's always been a talkative guy. That's just his nature. He vents like other people vent. That's his business."

Robinson led the Vikings with four receiving touchdowns despite being inactive for five games and not catching a pass in two other contests.

"He did lead the team in touchdowns, I can't deny that. I'm well aware of his statistics. I'm well aware of how he has gotten open, whether it's by himself or by the system as well," Childress said.

Asked how often he talks with his players, Childress said he is in the locker room from time to time, usually on Fridays, and talks with players there, "but it's certainly not a confessional. People don't line up outside of my door for their 'once-a-week' or they don't have to sign a sign-up sheet. It's civil conversation. Do you talk to some more than others? Sure you do."

He also established a players committee at the beginning of the season and meets with them regularly on Wednesdays. He said no players brought up the communication issues at that meeting this week that Robinson referenced before and after his release.

Martin Nance, who was moved from the practice squad to the active roster, and Jason Carter are expected to be active Sunday as the Vikings attempt to get a look at their younger receivers.

"The only chance to get to see them play in the bright lights is this week," Childress said of his younger players.


The Rams have adjusted to the workhorse style of running back Steven Jackson, who has carried the ball 321 times for 1,386 yards and caught 88 passes for 782 yards.

Rams coach Scott Linehan said they have been keeping Jackson fresh throughout the week during the season.

"We've been doing that with a lot of our players, especially guys that are taking a number of snaps, to keep them fresh. This time of year it's tough, especially the older players. Steven's carried a big load with the number of plays he's been playing, and like you said, touches," Linehan said. "That's what we do in practice. We get him as many as we think we need to get him. Kind of push him through it too, but try to keep him as fresh as we can at this time of year because it does start to wear on him."

That's a contrast to the way the Vikings have been handled Chester Taylor's workload throughout the season. Taylor started the season with 31 carries and has 291 on the season, but Childress has maintained that Taylor needs the practice repetitions throughout the week when he's healthy.

Taylor hasn't been as healthy lately, struggling with sore ribs the last two games after being inactive the previous week. In his last three games active, he has fewer than 20 rushes per game.

One of Jackson's biggest games was last weekend, when he had 150 yards rushing and a touchdown against Washington and is up for league honors for that performance.

"I think he was going into the game as one of the better short-yardage carriers in the league," Linehan said. "Going into the year, I wouldn't have thought that would've been his strength. I think that says a lot about him making adjustments in his style. I don't think anybody would have thought that he was going to be the receiver that he was, coming into the year. He worked very hard in becoming a dual-threat player, and I'm not surprised he was able to do it, but I'm surprised at how effective and dominant a receiver he's become, to go along with his running skills. I think he's one of those guys that has backed up his commitment in having a great year and taking his game to another level."

Jackson is second in the NFC with his 88 catches, four more than teammate and wide receiver Torry Holt, who has 84 catches for 1,098 yards.


  • Cornerback Antoine Winfield was honored Wednesday as the recipient of the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award, given to the player cooperates with the media in doing their job. The award is voted on by media that covers the Vikings.

    "I never had the opportunity to meet Korey. He left Ohio State before I got there. Speaking to guys that know him, they say he was a great guy, a lot of fun to be around," said Winfield.

  • Childress said he expects the Rams to send plenty of blitzes the Vikings' way, but it's not necessarily just because Tarvaris Jackson is a rookie. "(St. Louis defensive coordinator Jim Haslett) blitzes like crazy and that's their game. That's not something they will do for a rookie quarterback; they'll do that to anybody," Childress said. "We need to be about our business as we tee it up this Sunday."

    Said Jackson: "If they are giving us the run, we're going to take it as far as I go with me running the football. If they are containing me, I'm going to pass the football. Hopefully all of my receivers will get open and I won't have to run the football. It really depends on whatever they do."

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