STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Beads of sweat dripping from his head after a midday workout, Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson settled into a couch in the Penn State squad room with arms comfortably outstretched on the cushions.
Just like old times for one of the most popular Nittany Lions of the last decade. While Robinson's college career ended more than five years ago, the former Penn State quarterback has returned to Happy Valley to broadcast Saturday's Blue-White game for the Big Ten Network.
The NFL lockout just happens to give Robinson more time to focus on one of his post-playing career dreams.
"The lockout has been a blessing and a curse for me. The bad part is the uncertainty ... Am I going to be a restricted free agent? Am I going to be a free agent," he asked rhetorically Friday. "You don't know yet, so my life is kind of on hold."
On the flip side, there's more time to spend with his family, including three children.
"To know my kids better, and know my wife better," he said, "and it's given me more time to focus on broadcasting."
Robinson, 28, hopes to start a web-streamed talk show by August which is in part intended to give players a voice during the lockout. The show is an offshoot of an Internet show called "The Robinson Report" he had while with the San Francisco 49ers.
He did broadcast some softball and baseball games several years ago for ESPNU. Now, though, Robinson has a chance to work a football game as a broadcaster in his old stomping grounds.
"I love the game of football," Robinson said. "The only reason I took up broadcast, at first, was that if I'm not playing it, I can at least talk about it."
But having a family has led Robinson to think more about financial security after his playing days, and he sees broadcasting as one avenue. Of course, that career is still on hold, at least full-time, while Robinson tries to squeeze every second he can out of his NFL career. Still hopeful of playing quarterback full time as a pro, Robinson has settled into a jack-of-all-trades role, playing fullback, special teams and as an emergency backup quarterback.
"That's three roster spots that are very valuable to a team," Robinson said, sounding as if he was pitching his services.
It's exactly the kind of experience Robinson had at Penn State, bouncing around from receiver to running back to quarterback before settling in under center in 2005.
"Being able to do so much is the reason I'm still here. It's the single reason," he said. "I didn't see it at first, but you'll see it 10 years down the line, and you're still surviving in the National Football League."
As long as the NFL isn't bogged down in labor strife anyway.
Robinson said he and other players — Arizona Cardinals tackle Levi Brown was among several former Nittany Lions working out Friday at the football complex — would be involved in offseason conditioning now regardless of a lockout. So, the routine in that sense, hasn't changed.
But Robinson has also been outspoken on his Twitter account in his support of the players. He started taping for his online talk show, entitled "The Real Robinson Report," including an interview this week with another former Nittany Lion in the NFL, Chiefs DE Tamba Hali.
"The fact that there's a lockout made it more real," Robinson said about pursuing broadcasting. "I said, 'You know what, you can do it.' Talk about the lockout at first," before transitioning to broader topics.
Polished and charismatic, the former Penn State captain shouldn't have a problem coming up with things to say.