Seahawks’ Pete Carroll says Nate Robinson’s NFL bid is an uphill battle
RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was a bit brief Tuesday when asked about the tryout the team gave to Nate Robinson, the former University of Washington star who is pursuing a career in the NFL after 11 seasons in the NBA. Carroll said Robinson “looked really quick, caught the ball really well and he is an amazing athlete” then answered in the affirmative without elaborating when asked if the team tried him out at a specific position.
Carroll had more to say about the challenge Robinson faces trying to jump back into football after such a long hiatus. Robinson, 32, last played the sport competitively as a true freshman at UW in 2002, when he made six starts at cornerback. Carroll is as optimistic as anyone, but he acknowledged that Robinson’s NFL bid is a long-shot.
“I think it is all but impossible,” Carroll said. “It is as hard as you can possibly get. He is 32 as well. I don’t know if anyone could do it, but if anyone could, it might be Nate. He is a versatile athlete and a great competitor.”
Robinson tried out for the Seahawks on Monday but did not sign a contract, which is typical with players the team brings in for a tryout. Depending on how it goes, the player might be on the team’s radar in case a need arises or a spot opens up in the future. Carroll was asked if Robinson will remain an option for Seattle.
“Yeah, he’s got a lot of work to do,” Carroll said. “He is getting ready for whatever comes next in hoops as well as figuring out what he’s going to do, whether he is going to be in the NBA or be overseas playing. He wants to investigate his options. He is a great kid. I have known him for a long time, way back when, always loved the kid. I am excited to give him a chance and see where this all fits together for him and we’ll find out down the road.”
Robinson was a three-sport star at Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School (track and field was the third) and played football at UW for only one season before focusing solely on basketball. Carroll, who recruited Robinson while at USC, was asked how good of a football player Robinson could have been had he chosen that sport instead.
“He could have done a little bit of anything,” Carroll said. “He could play on both sides of the football back in the college days. There is no telling what kind of athlete he could have been at the position, whether he was a receiver or DB. I think he would have done both, but he is such a phenomenal basketball player he had to go that way and his heart was really there. Football was kind of his first sport he would tell you, but obviously basketball was a great avenue for him to follow.”