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Meet The (Bryan) Robinsons

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Cardinals defensive linemen Bryan Robinson (71) and Bryan Robinson (97).


These are the things you should know about Bryan Robinson.

Bryan Robinson wears No. 97. Bryan Robinson wears No. 71. Robinson hails from Toledo, Ohio. Robinson is from Dover, Delaware. Bryan Robinson can play both defensive tackle and defensive end. Bryan Robinson's nickname is B-Rob, which means Bryan Robinson has to go by Bryan.

Bryan Robinson plays for the Cardinals, and so does Bryan Robinson.

"Wait a minute," the wife of veteran Bryan Robinson said to her husband. "There are two of you?"

Two Bryan Robinsons. One team. One position.

Twins they aren't. Bryan Robinson the veteran has been around the NFL for a long time. Twelve years to be exact, with five NFL teams, 508 tackles, 124 starts and 22 sacks. He's the one wearing No. 97 from Toledo, a Fresno State product who signed as a free agent in mid-April.

Bryan Robinson the rookie has been around the NFL as a long-shot. The Dover native, who signed up two weeks after the first Bryan Robinson, is a defensive end from tiny Wesley College hoping just to stick in professional football.

"He is a good kid," the elder Robinson said. "I asked him, 'What's your nickname?' He said, 'B-Rob.' I said, 'Well, that's my nickname too. I am in my 12th year, so you can't have that nickname.'

"I get the naming rights."

The younger Robinson admitted he jumps when he hears someone at the facility yell out "B-Rob," before realizing it's not for him.

"It's not been hard. It's just been different," the younger Robinson said. "I'm not mad about losing the name, but it's a good name. Hopefully one day I will get it back."

The irony? The older Bryan Robinson legally spells his first name with a "t" at the end, meaning this all could have been avoided.

"When they hand out the paychecks," the elder Robinson said with a laugh, "that 't' – and I guess the pay rate – is how they distinguish between the two."

The veteran will get $850,000 in salary this season. The rookie will get $295,000, if he should stick.

And that, ultimately, is what could clear up the curious case of two Bryan Robinsons. The veteran is a versatile player, a guy who has started at all four defensive line positions in the NFL. The Cardinals want to rotate linemen this season much more than they were able in 2007; "B-Rob" would seem to be a crucial component.

"I wasn't coming in saying, 'Dammit, I need to start,' " the veteran said. "When the starters come out, you don't want to miss a beat. I welcome that role."

The rookie just wants a role. Any role. He wants to keep the Bryan Robinson confusion going.

When he was in high school in Delaware and an emerging name in high school sports, the younger Robinson's friends would google his name. Inevitably, what would pop up were entries about the older man who would become his teammate.

"He has done some great things," the rookie said. "I just have to get the opportunity to make my own name."

That's Bryan -- with a y -- Robinson. B-Rob for short.




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