Found May 14, 2013 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Antoine Winfield's tenure with the Minnesota Vikings might be over after nine years with the team, but he's still making an impact on his former squad. Along with being Minnesota's most reliable cornerback over the past nine seasons Winfield was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Vikings he was also the veteran leader among the secondary, a strong influence on young players and admired as much for his work ethic and leadership as his play on the field. Those intangible traits might be what Minnesota will miss most from Winfield. Josh Robinson, entering his second season after being a third-round pick by the Vikings in 2012, is still learning from Winfield. Robinson, one of the team's corners that will need to step up to fill Winfield's void on the field, took to heart some of Winfield's teachings and is working this offseason to improve on a lackluster rookie season. "His study habits are superb," Robinson said of Winfield. "He's one that's always been, ever since his rookie year, he said, he learned that he had to study better and he became a great player. He's a great tackler, everyone knows that. His coverage skills are still there, even at 35." So Robinson, who is up against the same size differential at 5-foot-10, 199 pounds that Winfield (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) has overcome in his career, has been studying more. Winfield's starting spot is up for grabs between Robinson, rookie first-rounder Xavier Rhodes and maybe A.J. Jefferson. With a year under his belt, Robinson is focusing on film study to be better prepared. "Just from putting more time in," Robinson said of how he's preparing. "Having a plan, that's something that I didn't have last year. I didn't have a plan of what I would do every week and that's something I'm working on doing now." Robinson started six games in his rookie season and finished with 56 tackles, three pass deflections and two interceptions. One of the fastest players in his draft class, Robinson has the physical tools to develop into a full-time starter. But his playing time decreased towards the end of last season as he struggled. Coaches left him with one major improvement needed from his rookie season: Consistency. "That's one thing coach was stressing with me this offseason: be consistent," Robinson said. "I would have flashes of good plays and flashes of bad plays. But I need to be more consistent." So Robinson took to studying and improving his mental approach. "My study habits, I could have did better last year," Robinson said. "As a rookie, I was trying to get a feel for everything. And I think I got that, so I'm ready to study more and do more that I can to help this team." Robinson said he wasn't overwhelmed playing in the NFL last season. But he couldn't play with his natural instincts either. "Really just trying to take in as much as possible, but trying to make sure I can still play fast and it kind had me thinking too much," Robinson said. "I kind of got a lot of things under my belt, a lot of experience as a rookie. Hopefully I can add to it and do better this year." A starting spot is available after Winfield's release and subsequent signing with the Seattle Seahawks, and maybe just as importantly, the pecking order behind starter Chris Cook is still undetermined. Rhodes was drafted with the talent and size to be a starter and match up against the big receivers in the NFC North. But the nickel cornerback spot, where Winfield flourished in his later years, is just as important against the passing attacks in the North. "We'll move Xavier around a little bit but we think he's primarily an outside guy," coach Leslie Frazier said after the draft. "But we do think that Josh has that ability (to play inside). We know that Marcus Sherels has done it for us in the past, and we have some other guys we're going to take a look at as well. Brandon Burton is another candidate, we've got some other guys on the roster who can potentially go in there and play the position." Robinson, who the Vikings were reluctant to play inside as a rookie, is hoping to learn some of Winfield's technique in the slot, and finally give Minnesota a consistent, quality top three corners. "That's something we've always worked on, just to make sure I know it," Robinson said of learning to play inside. "Just learning, same thing as last year. If I can get it, I can try to compete for that spot or compete for outside. Either one . . . more man techniques. You play more man when you're in the slot. You're really on an island, even though you're on the inside." The Vikings will soon find out how much Robinson learned from Winfield. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

5 Things You Didn't Know About the New Vikings Stadium

On Monday night, at a special event at a place most football fans have never stepped foot in before, the Minnesota Vikings took to the Wurtele Thrust Stage at the Guthrie Theater to unveil the design for their new stadium. Set to break ground in 2014, the new stadium is an engineering marvel, incorporating the world's largest ethylene tetrafluoroethylene roof, enormous pivoting...

Damn! The Minnesota Vikings Fly Through Video of Their New Stadium is Badass

Opening the roof over the new home of the Minnesota Vikings would have forced planners of the $975 million project to eliminate some of the fancy features. So the team, the public agency in charge of the stadium and the architects designing it literally saw the light. The yet-to-be-named multipurpose facility will have a translucent roof and moveable front windows. Bryan Trubey,...
VALHALLA RISING

Vikings officially unveil new stadium design

On Monday night, in the Guthrie Theater, the Minnesota Vikings officially unveiled their designs for their new stadium, set for completion in 2016.

Want to See the What the New $975 Million Minnesota Vikings Stadium Will Look Like?

The Minnesota Vikings have every reason to be happy about the future. They have the best running back in the NFL in Adrian Peterson, an up and coming quarterback in Christian Ponder leading a dangerous offense, new uniforms, and come 2016 a brand-spanking new stadium (finally)! Want to see what it's going to look like (after you watch the old one collapse one more time)? ...

Healthy Simpson looking to make full impact in Year 2

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Jerome Simpson came to the Minnesota Vikings last season as a breath of fresh air. The former Cincinnati Bengals receiver was excitable, always smiling and he connected with quarterback Christian Ponder on a few big plays during minicamp. He was going to be the deep-threat receiver Minnesota had been looking for. Then he served his three-game suspension for...

New images of Minnesota Vikings new stadium released

On Monday the Minnesota Vikings released artist renderings of the new Vikings stadium and it is going to be extravagant.  The stadium will host Football and Baseball games and will presumably have a Super Bowl in the future.  Here are some details from Vikings.com, with a video included: Approximately 1.6 million square feet. 65,000 seats, including some of the closest in the...

Photos: Vikings unveil pics of sleek new $975 million stadium

The Minnesota Vikings have long been overdue for a new stadium. In 2016, they will have one, and it will be simply magnificent.On Monday, the Vikings unveiled images for a new $975 million stadium, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2016 NFL season.Construction on the multi-purpose venue is slated to begin this October. It will have a seating capacity of 65,000 fans and boast...

First Look At Minnesota Vikings’ New Stadium Design

At the end of the 2013 football season the Minnesota Vikings will vacate the 31-year-old Metrodome and play outside at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium for two years while the new venue is under construction. Two years of hard time outdoors will pay off for fans as the team will move back indoors in 2016. From the look of the new 65,000-seat building, though, they’ll...

McNabb’s Jersey Retirement: What’s Next SU Name To Hang in the Dome?

CBS Sports Syracuse will retire Donovan McNabb’s jersey during the Wake Forest football game this upcoming season. McNabb tweeted out the news Saturday during his visit to the Hill for commencement weekend. Although the university has not commented on the news, it is expected that McNabb’s jersey, not number will be retired. This means players will still be able to wear the...

Donovan McNabb To Announce His Retirement

The question that will be hanging out there will be is Donovan McNabb a Hall of Famer? You can have convincing arguments on both sides. I always said that Donovan McNabb was the most underrated and overrated quarterback I have ever covered. He was truly a curious player to cover. He accomplished so much, but you always got the feeling he should have accomplished a little more. It...

Brian Urlacher Not Being Pursued by Vikings, According to Leslie Frazier, Despite Contrary Reports

It appears that Brian Urlacher will not be joining the Minnesota Vikings — for now. A report came out on Monday from the Chicago Sun-Times that Urlacher was “close” to signing with the Vikings on a one- or two-year deal. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier nixed those rumors on Tuesday, though. “Brian has been a great player in our league for a long, long time,” Frazier said...

Wrangler Photo Shoot with Brett Favre

I love wearing Wranglers while driving a Wrangler Juan… The old gunslinger is still getting paid. Check out Green Bay Packers legendary Quarterback Brett Favre on the set of his latest Wrangler Jeans photo shoot. Favre is a Wrangler guy, always has been, and always will be. Brett and Deanna Favre on Vacation Brett Favre Slinging Dodgeballs

Hodges tweets his contract is complete

The Vikings got the first of their draft picks under contract Tuesday, according to a tweet by fourth-round linebacker Gerald Hodges, who is vying for a starting role.

Donovan McNabb Will Retire As An Eagle

Sorry, Washington Redskins fans. Tough titties, Minnesota Vikings fans. I’m sure that you were all desperately wishing that when the day finally came, Donovan McNabb would choose to retire as a part of your franchises, but… hey, why are you guys all cheering and celebrating? Anyway, McNabb was a guest on ESPN Radio 97.7 on Monday, and he indeed revealed that he plans to retire...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.