- The Washington Times - Friday, November 28, 2003

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Marcus Robinson finally surfaced.

The Ravens signed Robinson, a Pro Bowl alternate in 1999, in the offseason to help upgrade a mediocre receiving corps. With just nine receptions for 76 yards and no touchdowns heading into Week 12, Robinson was looking more like bust than bargain.

But the former Chicago Bears wideout entered his name in the Ravens record book Sunday. In a 44-41 overtime victory against the Seattle Seahawks, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Robinson caught four touchdown passes — in the second half.

“It was one game and it was a great game, but guys are not going just start respecting you all of a sudden after one game,” Robinson said. “I had a lot of attempts. When the ball came my way, I made some plays for this team. It wasn’t like we game-planned for Marcus Robinson this week.”

Before that, the 28-year-old was dropping passes and having a hard time staying upright. Robinson opened the season as the Ravens’ third receiver behind Travis Taylor and Frank Sanders before Sanders injured his ankle.

Robinson’s four touchdowns catches broke the team record of three shared by Michael Jackson and Qadry Ismail. Robinson needed a breakthrough game to boost his confidence and that of quarterback Anthony Wright, who made just his second NFL start in the past two years.

Robinson recorded Baltimore’s first 100-yard receiving game at home this season by catching seven passes for 131 yards. It was also just the third 100-yard receiving game by a Raven this season and the eighth of his career.

“I talked to Marcus, and I told him that he wasn’t going to receive any more free paychecks,” said Wright, who passed for a career high 319 yards on 20 of 37 attempts. “He had been to the Pro Bowl before, and I knew that he had the talent to do it and it was just a matter of giving him a chance. I saw him out there, and I felt like I should give him a chance, and he made the plays.”

The Wright-Robinson connection goes back to their college days at South Carolina, where Robinson also was an All-American sprinter in the 100 and 200 meters.

“I pretty much know what he can do and can’t do,” Wright said. “I know how to throw him the ball. I know where to throw him the ball. I know what plays I should go to him and what plays I shouldn’t.”

Robinson caught touchdown passes of 13, 50, 25 and 9 yards against the Seahawks in his first big game since the 2000 season with the Bears. In 2001, Robinson played in just five games before blowing out his knee and hasn’t been the same player since. In 1999, he caught 84 passes for a Chicago record 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns.

“Marcus made some great plays,” said San Francisco coach Dennis Erickson, whose 49ers face the Ravens tomorrow at M&T; Bank Stadium. “He is experienced, big and strong. This is the first time that he has jumped out to everyone because they got the ball to him and he made some plays. He is an excellent receiver, and they are going to throw it up to him because he has great size and jump up there. Obviously, you look differently at him after last week.”


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