|Date of birth:August 26, 1973|
|Place of birth: Houston, Texas|
|College: Texas Christian|
|NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 49|
|Debuted in 1995 for the Oakland Raiders|
|Last played in 2003 for the Oakland Raiders|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2003
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Barrett Glen Robbins (born August 26, 1973) is a former American football center who played nine seasons for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for Texas Christian University, he was taken by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He became one of the NFL's best centers, being elected to the Pro Bowl in 2002. He was the leader of the Raiders offensive line that led them to Super Bowl XXXVII.
In 1996, Mike White's last year as head coach, the second-year Robbins replaced Dan Turk in the lineup, becoming only the fifth starting center in Raider history, after Turk, Don Mosebar, Dave Dalby, and Jim Otto.
During the 2000 NFL season with Jon Gruden as head coach and Rich Gannon at quarterback, Oakland scored 479 points (29.9 points/game), 3rd of 31 teams in the NFL, thanks to a strong offensive line which included Robbins playing between Steve Wisniewski at left guard and Mo Collins at right guard in all 16 games (also both playoff games), finishing with a won-lost record of 12–4 and an AFC West title. In the divisional round of the 2000-01 NFL playoffs, Oakland shut out the Miami Dolphins 27–0, gaining 140 yards on the ground. However, the Raiders lost the AFC championship game to the Baltimore Ravens when Gannon was injured early.
During the 2001 NFL season, Robbins was injured, playing in only 2 regular season games, replaced by Adam Treu (also in both playoff games), when Oakland scored 399 points (24.9 points/game), 4th of 31 teams in the NFL, and won the AFC west again with a 10–6 record, defeating the New York Jets in a wild card game but losing to the New England Patriots in the divisional round, in controversial fashion (see Tuck Rule Game).
In the 2002 NFL season with Bill Callahan in his first year as head coach, Robbins rebounded strongly by starting all 16 regular season games and making the Pro Bowl. Oakland won the AFC west for the third straight year, with an 11–5 record, scoring 450 points (28.1 points/game), 2nd of 32 teams in the NFL. In the 2002–03 NFL playoffs, the Raiders defeated the New York Jets again with 399 total yards, with an offensive line composed of Robbins, Frank Middleton and Mo Collins at guard, Barry Sims and Lincoln Kennedy at tackle. The Raiders then beat with the same offensive line the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game, gaining 375 total yards.
Then, inexplicably, the day before Super Bowl XXXVII, disaster struck Robbins. He was reported as missing for most of the day before the game after not taking his depression medication. When he resurfaced that night, he was so incoherent that Callahan left him off the roster. He spent 30 days at the Betty Ford Center, during which time he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or manic-depressive disorder). He'd been diagnosed with depression while at TCU, but it is common for the two to be confused in the early stages. Robbins later told his wife that he had spent most of the day before the Super Bowl partying across the border in Tijuana, and actually thought the Raiders had already won the game and he was celebrating their victory. With Adam Treu as the starting center, the Raiders were humiliated in an embarrassing loss in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-21.
Robbins regained his starting job the next year in the 2003 NFL season with the same linemates, a disastrous 4–12 for the team. However, his name and those of several of his teammates were found on the list of clients of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative that had given performance-enhancing drugs to Marion Jones and others. The Raiders released him in the summer of 2004 after he tested positive for a steroid known to have come from the BALCO lab. Treu replaced him as the starting center.
A few months later, on Christmas Eve, he was arrested for punching a security guard who tried to keep him from going to a bar at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. On January 15, 2005, Robbins was shot three times during a brawl with police in Miami Beach, and was subsequently charged with attempted murder for his role. Under a plea agreement, Robbins pled guilty to five charges, including the attempted murder charge, and was sentenced to five years probation, ordered to receive treatment for his bipolar disorder, and to avoid alcohol. He has spent most of the last decade in jail or in rehab facilities due to problems with substance abuse. He ultimately ended up in a rehab facility in Houston in 2008, and was transferred to a halfway house in May 2009.
In a 2009 interview with HBO's Real Sports, Robbins told Andrea Kremer that before being diagnosed as bipolar, he had dealt with his mood swings by taking alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and steroids. He also said that he had been in a manic mood for both Raider playoff games prior to the Super Bowl. His ex-wife, Marisa, also interviewed for the story, said that before the diagnosis there were days where he had breakfast and went right back to bed.
In early 2010, a police officer pulled him over near Dallas and found crack cocaine in his car. On March 25, 2011, Robbins was sentenced to five years in a Florida prison for a drug-related probation violation and was released on September 25, 2012.
- Callahan says Robbins was incoherent on eve of Super Bowl. Associated Press, 2003-01-29.
- Knapp, Gwen. 6 years later, Robbins still finding his way. San Francisco Chronicle, 2009-01-31.
- ESPN.com: Robbins says he's looking to his future
- Gay, Nancy. Barret Robbins' Road to Recovery the Subject of HBO's 'Real Sports'. FanHouse, 2009-07-30.
- Ex-NFL lineman Robbins gets 5 years in prison for drug-related probation violation
- Ex-Raiders center Barret Robbins released from prison