VU: I'm asking this generally because there are so many different ways to go with it, so I'll start generally. What do you think of the whole Daunte Culpepper saga right now?
BL: I have gone to bat for him and I love that kid. He's first in every drill, he works and has a tremendous work ethic, but I got off his bandwagon after never, ever thinking negative of that man. What he was doing and the advice he was getting in that situation blew me away because that was totally uncharacteristic of Daunte. I haven't talked to him yet, but whoever gave him that advice, it was very poorly done. You should embrace a new coach, learn the system, learn the terminology like we talked about earlier, be first to get your nose in that book. You've got plenty of time—all you're doing is rehabbing. To come on that strong with no leverage—the majority of athletes do not come back from an injury like that. Plus, having played hurt earlier in the season and going 2-5, that's not a lot of bargaining power in my book. But I was really disappointed, tremendously disappointed.
VU: What would you do in this situation? You've got Brad Johnson, who wants to be a starter, and Culpepper, who I don't think anybody can tell you for sure whether he really is going to be able to play at a decent level again.
BL: Between those two, I would find out as a new coach who can grasp my system the best. They both have tremendous attitudes; it's just a matter of who can grasp it the best. When you hit Mankato, you better hit that field running. You can get a lot of things done during the off-season because the players have a lot of free time.
VU: But if it's simply who is going to pick up the system best, it's got to be advantage Johnson right now because he's been around the league and he's played in a similar system in Tampa Bay.
BL: If you're going to say that Johnson picks it up the best and he's the healthiest and he led you to a 7-2 record, then without a doubt Brad Johnson is your quarterback.
VU: Can both of them be here if Brad Johnson is the quarterback?
BL: If you figure out that Brad Johnson is going to be your quarterback before March 13, then you trade Daunte if he's healthy enough to trade. The whole thing there is that I guess I don't know Childress well enough to say if he's the type of guy—when he says you can't lose your job to an injury, I don't believe that quote. It's a matter of who is playing best and who your fellow teammates want in the game, not because you lost your job because of an injury.
VU: Your Super Bowl predictions?
BL: Playing for the Seahawks, when I retired I told them it would take them 30 years to rebuild the organization (Bob's joking, of course … we think). The Seahawks are right on schedule. Plus, I played in Super Bowl IX when the Steelers upset us. So from the bottom of my heart and with a lot of sincerity, the Seahawks will win.
Bob Lurtsema was a 12-year veteran defensive lineman in the NFL, playing with the Baltimore Colts, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, and the longtime publisher of Viking Update. He joins VikingUpdate.com for a weekly Q & A session, and his monthly column appears in the magazine.
Lurtsema's Reaction: QB Saga
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