Rob's Reaction: Defensive Fronts

Rob Lurtsema played defensive line for two years with the New Orleans Saints before injuries got the better of him. Now he's with Viking Update and evaluating the Vikings' defensive line play. See what he thinks of Brock Lesnar, the rookie draft picks on the line, the linebackers and the differences in this year's defensive philosophy.

Q: Brock Lesnar has been in a few plays, but not a whole lot. From what you've seen of him, what do you like about him and what does he need to work on?

A: He comes off the ball well. He hustles, but his hands are very stiff. He tries to outmuscle just about every guy that goes in front of him. That's going to be one of his downfalls. You've got to beat guys with quickness and speed — muscle only goes so far in the NFL.

Q: Being a guy that grew up with instruction from your dad and you got college coaching, how overwhelmed do think Lesnar is with not having any of that coaching between high school and the pros?

A: The guy went from college wrestling to pro wrestling and made the transition and got the crap beat out of him. I don't think I'd be too scared or overwhelmed because he's been through a lot, going through the wrestling and doing a lot of things. Not playing in college would be the only thing that would worry me. These guys have been playing six or seven years before I have even touched them.

Q: Is it hand movement that he needs to work on the most?

A: You noticed how big he was when he was wrestling. He was huge. I think he's just got to loosen up. He's so bulky. He's got to do more reps, loosen up and get smaller up top to bring his quickness back.

Q: What about the rookie lineman, Kenechi Udeze? What did you see out of him?

A: He comes off the ball very well. He has excellent hands every time he makes a move. I didn't get to see too much of him on running plays because they've been doing a lot of blitzing. I would be interested to see him on a lot of running plays to see if he can hold his own and lock out and stretch the play out.

Q: If Kenny Mixon's appeal of his suspension fails, does Udeze have what it takes to play left end?

A: I think he does. If that's the case that Mixon is suspended, I think that would be the best thing for Udeze to get in there and get some experience early on and be a part of the team the whole year as a starter.

Q: What about Darrion Scott?

A: Darrion Scott comes off the ball really well. He runs around with his head cut off, which I kind of like. He gives 110 percent each play. As camp goes along, he'll gain a lot more experience and become more fluid and natural.

Q: You coach linebacker for Burnsville High School. What do you think of the group the Vikings have?

A: They're very young. E.J. Henderson is flying around. Chris Claiborne is experienced, but he's got to come through this year and help the defense out. They have depth there, too. I think it's going to be a strength of the defense this year.

Q: Overall with the defensive scheme, what do you notice that might be a difference between Ted Cottrell and George O'Leary?

A: They're doing a lot of blitzing and a lot of nickel back stuff. When you notice Lance Johnstone going into the play, you know it's nickel. They're doing a lot of blitzing.




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