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Jerry Robinson Can Laugh About It Now That He Has Become a Raider

October 01, 1985|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

Found: another Raider comic. These weren't in short supply, but their number grew by one when they acquired Jerry Robinson, the former Bruin, one-time Pro Bowl linebacker and recent holdout, who got his wish Monday and became an ex-Philadelphia Eagle.

Robinson is also a native of Santa Rosa, where the Raiders once trained. He was one of those little kids who idolized them and wasn't allowed in to see their practices which were then, as now, closed. Now he can experience them up close and personal.

You think he wasn't happy? Six hours on the team and he started doing Raider jokes.

"I'm ecstatic," Robinson said from his home in suburban Philadelphia. "As a matter of fact, I think I'll go out and get a patch to put over my eye when I come to town.

"There's nothing like that silver-and-black. They just have a totally different attitude. It seemed like every time the Raiders came to town in Santa Rosa, the crime rate went up. I thought, 'Man, that must be a hell of a team.'

"One day you'd see Mercedes, motorcycles, chains, whips. . . . You'd say, 'Oh oh, the Raiders are back in town.'

"To have the opportunity to play with the Raider defense, the most heavily penalized team in football! You could have fun on a team like that."

When you're hot, you're hot. This was the latest deal in the Eagle fire sale, but it had been discussed since training camp. A Philadelphia newspaper reported the Eagles were asking for Matt Millen. A Raider official said the Eagles started by asking about Marcus Allen and Howie Long.

Eight weeks later, the Eagles settled for a No. 2 draft choice in 1986, the one the Raiders got from the Washington Redskins for Malcolm Barnwell.

Yet to be determined is whether Robinson will be an outside linebacker, where he was the defensive rookie of the year in 1979 and a Pro Bowler in '81, or inside, where he has spent the last three seasons.

Robinson: "I'd prefer to play outside. The thing about being inside, it's like being in the middle of the 405, right?

"They're coming at you from all directions. You're getting hit from the front side, the back side, the blind side. Outside linebacker, it's strictly one-way."

A Raider source, however, suggests that he is ticketed for rookie Reggie McKenzie's inside slot.

"You know what? Playing for the Raiders, I wouldn't mind playing inside," Robinson said. "I want to play football. I haven't played football in a long, long time."

Robinson made $200,000 last season, and was signed for two more. He was to have made $225,000 plus a $35,000 signing bonus this season, and $275,000 plus $35,000 next, but he asked to renegotiate, or in his words, for an extension.

Raider Notes

Quarterback Marc Wilson, who sprained his right ankle Sunday, didn't practice on it Monday. He is expected to go Sunday. Coach Tom Flores: "His ankle is pretty sore. Right now, if I had to list him, it'd be questionable at best. There's no question we're concerned. Right now we have one quarterback (Rusty Hilger) and a hobbling Marc. So we're considering options. I think Marc is going to get better as the week progresses. It's not a panic situation." . . . Raider sources are denying the Larry King-spread rumors that they're interested in Richard Todd or Doug Williams. The Todd rumor is a little farfetched, since the Raiders haven't spoken highly of him. Williams has three years left on his Arizona Wranglers contract, and hetold the Arizona Republic's Don Ketchum that there has been no contact. . . . Flores says the Raiders have already tried out Jack Thompson, and they'll bring in some other quarterbacks, but they'll be more of the unemployed types like Tom Ramsey . . .

Cle Montgomery's knee injury, suffered Sunday, doesn't look good. "There's cartilage damage and there could be ligament," Flores said. "They're going to 'scope him (arthroscopic surgery) and see if there's further damage." . . . Flores says that Don Mosebar went to guard for Mickey Marvin only because Marvin was having back cramps. And Flores suggests that the sudden success of the running game behind the new combination may have been coincidence. "Statistically, it improved," Flores said. "But we might have kinda worn them down. It was hotter than anyone realized out there."

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