EDEN PRAIRIE –Vikings defensive end Brian Robison is celebrating his 33rd birthday today, and he's excited about more than just cake and gifts.
"I'm excited to get back and see the fellas," Robison said Tuesday at Winter Park. "Been able to get in some good work the past week and a half, and it's always good to come back and see the guys."
Robison joined a majority of his teammates in the Vikings voluntary offseason program as they gear up for the 2016 season.
"I think we've got one main objective, and that's to win a Super Bowl here," Robison said. "I'm just going to put it out there now – that's what everyone's objective should be this year.
"We had an opportunity last year where we didn't finish the way we wanted to finish," Robison added. "We felt like we could have done some damage in the playoffs, but that's last year."
The 2016 season will be the 10th for Robison, who's been able to play his whole tenure in purple in gold.
Over his career, Robison has recorded 286 tackles (184 solo), 63 tackles for loss, 48.5 sacks, 243 quarterback hurries, nine forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and 21 passes defensed. Robison started all 16 games in 2015 and contributed 34 tackles and 5.0 sacks to help the Vikings to an 11-5 record, NFC North division title and first trip to the playoffs since 2012.
"Every year stands on its own merit, and I think everybody came in here in great shape and ready to roll," Robison said.
When he's not sacking guys on the field, Robison's most likely on a lake sacking fish. He got to focus on the latter earlier this month.
Robison has been a longtime fisherman, but in 2015 he started using that passion to influence others, as well. Robison and his wife, Jayme, formed the Brian Robison "Reel 'Em In Foundation" to provide financial, emotional and physical support for those in need, both in Robison's home state of Texas and in Minnesota.
Each year, the foundation will work to raise funds and awareness for a different charitable organization. Robison held an inaugural Reel 'Em In fishing tournament on April 9-10 to benefit this year's organization, K9s4Cops, a national organization that provides canines to law enforcement agencies, school districts and college campuses across the United States.
Robison, along with Vikings teammates Adrian Peterson and Terence Newman, joined a large number of anglers for the tournament in Lake Fork, Texas. A total of 92 pounds 10 ounces of fish were weighed in, and Robison said Tuesday that the tournament brought in $27,000 to go directly to K9s4Cops.
Now that Robison is back in Minnesota, he's grinding away and back in football mode… but he hasn't quite put down his fishing pole. Robison will host a second fishing tournament this summer, this time on Lake Mille Lacs in northern Minnesota, that will also benefit K9s4Cops.
Whether he's on the lake or on the field, Robison is always hard at work – even on his birthday.
"Everybody has got to be on board and understand we can't be complacent," Robison said. "We can't be OK with where we're at – we've got to get better every day."