Cynthia Robiskie is the person having the most trouble with the Falcons signing her oldest son, Brian.
“She’s nervous …,” said Terry Robiskie, the Falcons’ assistant head coach/wide receivers, after a recent practice. “She can’t sleep.”
She’s a football mother of three, but for some reason this move has her on edge.
“She’s walking around the house,” Robiskie said. “I went over to her last night and said, ‘you’ve already had a baby, stop pacing.’ I think she feels like she’s having a baby again. She’s just pacing back and forth. She can’t sleep at night.”
The injury bug has hit the Falcons hard this season at wide receiver.
Roddy White has been slowed all season by an ankle injury followed by a hamstring injury, and he’s not likely to play when the Falcons face the Arizona Cardinals at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
But when the Falcons lost Julio Jones (foot surgery) for the season, they were in the market for a free agent. They worked out Mohammed Massaquoi (a former Georgia Bulldog), Courtney Roby and Lavelle Hawkins after the Week 1 loss to New Orleans.
But when it was time to sign someone, Robiskie didn’t have to look past his basement.
Brian Robiskie, a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2009, worked out routinely at the neighborhood L.A. Fitness waiting for a phone call to get back into the NFL while he stayed with his parents.
“I’m just trying to make the most out of the opportunity while I’m able to do so,” Robiskie said. “Whatever that may be. Right now, whatever they’ve got me doing, my goal is to make the most out of that opportunity. That’s how I’ve looked at every situation that I’ve been in.”
Robiskie saw some action against the Buccaneers last week. He was targeted on one pass play and made a tackle on special teams.
“Brian is doing a nice job for us,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.
Robiskie, 25, also played with Jacksonville and Detroit. He started 14 of the 37 games in which he played and has 43 catches for 485 yards and four touchdowns. He’s 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds.
Things just didn’t work out for Robiskie in Cleveland, which was in one of its many transitions since the original team left for Baltimore.
“Coaching changes, different philosophies and different pieces,” Robiskie said. “My time had come to an end there.”
He was drafted by the Eric Mangini regime, which was supplanted by the Mike Holmgren administration, which was subsequently supplanted by the current folks in Cleveland.
Given all of that turmoil at the top, Robiskie was just a part of the wreckage. That might explain some of his mom’s anxiety.
Pro football can be a cruel business.
“But having a dad in this profession, you tend to look at it as a business a little quicker maybe than some other guys,” Robiskie said. “It really didn’t affect me too much.”
The wide receiver hopes to revive his once-promising career with the Falcons.
“We are anticipating that he’s going to have to help us as we go down the stretch for the next few weeks,” Smith said. “Hopefully, we are going to be getting healthier at the wide receiver position.”
Terry Robiskie, who played at LSU (1973-76) and in the NFL for coaching legends John Madden, Don Shula and Tom Flores (1977-81), is a rugged hombre. He’s a tough coach and a stickler for footwork and blocking.
Brian Robiskie clearly doesn’t expect any favors from his dad, the hater of diva wide receivers.
“I knew that from growing up,” Robiskie said. “That’s just part of his personality. That’s how he is, and he’s always been able to get the most out of his players, and hopefully for me, it will be no different.”
Terry Robiskie has to split his coaching chores from being the father.
“It’s good to finally be there with him, be on the field with him, watching him, and now a lot of things that I’ve seen on tape with him, that I’ve called him and tried to fix, I can fix right there when it’s happening,” Robiskie said.
“If he plants off the wrong foot or if he doesn’t explode out of something, I don’t have to call him on the phone and try to explain it to him. I can grab him and make him do it again. Try to do it and do it right.”
Coaching his son has been therapeutic for the elder Robiskie, 58, who has coached in the NFL since 1982.
“It’s good for me,” he said. “I’m having fun trying to polish him up a little bit.”
The coach makes no apologies for riding his son as tough as he does White and Jones.
“It’s hard, but it’s me,” Robiskie said. “The thing about it is, he knew what he was getting into when he got here. I knew what I was getting into when I brought him here. It’s tough, and it’s all been hard. I just have to keep him going.”
Andrew Robiskie, the middle son, just finished playing center at Western Illinois. He was in camp with the Raiders before he was waived. The youngest, Kyle, is a fifth-year senior at Western Illinois.
There’s been one additional bonus for Brian and Terry, courtesy of Cynthia.
“The one thing she is doing is that she’s cooking more than she ever has in her life,” Terry said. “When she’s got all of that energy and doesn’t know what to do, she just goes in there and cooks. If I keep eating her food, I’m going to (get really big).”