Falcons Vice President of Football Communications Reggie Roberts spotlights a player each week in a series of on-the-spot, off-beat questions in a new weekly segment featured on AtlantaFalcons.com called "Behind the Facemask." This week's featured player is Falcons CB Dunta Robinson, who has 20 tackles and three passes defensed for the Falcons, one of four teams in the NFL (Baltimore, Chicago, and the New York Jets) who own an NFL-best 4-1 record. We caught up with Dunta after Thursday's practice to chop up fashion, football and his commitment to the community in which he grew up.
Reggie Roberts: You grew up in Athens, Georgia and were the 10th overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. When you became an unrestricted free agent, what advice did you give your agent (Jason Chayut)?
Dunta Robinson: "I remember being very specific about one thing. I told him I wanted to be as close to home as possible. I knew Atlanta was probably going to be in the market for a corner, and I really wanted to be here, but I never thought that this would be possible. I can't tell you how excited I am to be playing at home in front of my friends and family. We've got a terrific environment here, we're playing well, but we can get better, and I think we will as the season moves along."
RR: What if your agent would have come back with a better offer from a cold weather team?
DR: "I'm a Southern boy, and I'm not that big a fan of the cold. I'm completely cool with the two or three months of winter we have here in Georgia, but I'm not sure a cold-weather city would have worked for me."
RR: Lots of guys on our team are from the South and have no plans of ever visiting a big city like, say New York. Do you like New York City?
DR: "I'm a huge fan of New York City. It's an amazing city to do just about anything you could ever imagine. I like to just go to the city and walk around and hang out. It's an amazing city with a lot of style and energy. It's one of my favorite cities in the world."
RR: New York is also known as the fashion capitol of the world. Can all of your time in New York explain why you are without question one of the best dressed guys on the team?
DR: "I do a lot of shopping while I'm there. But I think I get my sense of style and fashion from my parents (Willie & Betty Robinson). When I was a kid, my parents were always dressed up when they went out. Whether they were going to dinner, a party, to a wedding — wherever — they, without a doubt, were the best dressed people at the set, and I knew I was going to have to step up my fashion game when my time came. I work hard all week; I like to dress like I'm a successful person when I'm out and about. That's important to me."
RR: Who are your favorite designers?
DR: "I'm a big fan of Ralph Lauren. It's classy, it's clean, but it's not overly flashy which I think is super important."
RR: I bet you are a two-closet guy. Are you?
DR: "I am. I've got all of my suits in one closet and the rest of my stuff in the other."
RR: Some of the guys on the team were talking about how nice your suits are. How many do you own?
DR: "Some guys collect coins, some guys hunt. I'm a clothes guy. I think I have about 60 suits."
RR: Let's get back to football. When did you realize that the good Lord gave you enough talent to possibly be one of the blessed guys who get to play this game on Sunday's for a living?
DR: "It was 1999 at Clarke Central High School in Athens. I had a huge game, but we lost. After the game, former Denver Broncos wide receiver and Athens native Willie Green came up to me. He was wearing his Super Bowl ring (Super Bowl XXXII — Denver defeated Green Bay 31-24), and he told me that if I kept working hard and remained focused, I'd also have a chance to not only play in the NFL, but to get a Super Bowl ring. That conversation stayed with me and he and I talk about that conversation every time we see each other."
RR: Growing up in Georgia, who was your favorite team?
DR: "The Atlanta Falcons or whoever Deion Sanders was playing for at the time."
RR: So Deion was obviously your favorite player?
DR: "Absolutely. I was a huge fan of his and still am. That guy was a one of the best corners ever to play this game."
RR: What's your favorite movie of all time?
DR: "The first 'Friday' movie that featured Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. Every time I watch it, it makes me laugh."
RR: What's the one talent you wish you had?
DR: "I wish I could sing."
RR: With 53 guys on our roster, there are definitely 'different' musical tastes throughout the locker room. What's on your iPod and which artist is on your iPod that would surprise your teammates?
DR: "I've got some Outkast, Goodie Mob and Bob Marley on there. I think the guy that would shock guys in the locker room is John Coltrane."
RR: Really? Coltrane is regarded as one of the legendary sax players in world of jazz. He was a legend. Why do you like him?
DR: "The sound, man. When I really need to mellow out, I click on Coltrane."
RR: Who is your favorite actress?
DR: "Kerry Washington. I love the way she carries herself."
RR: What's the most extravagant purchase you've made since you've been in professional football?
DR: "I bought by parents a Bentley GT. They're the reason I'm in the NFL."
RR: What's the best thing about being in the NFL?
DR: "Being able to live out a dream I've had since I was about seven years old."
RR: What's the motto that you live by?
DR: "Without struggle, there can be no progress."