Lurtsema's Reaction: Trade and Favre

Former Vikings defensive end Bob Lurtsema knows a thing or two about defensive line play and has his opinions on a player the Vikings could pursue. And despite being dyed in the wool purple, Lurtsema pays his compliments to Brett Favre and his abilities.

VU: One guy who is rumored to be tradeable is Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, who has been a lot more durable. He's older than Kearse, but he's hardly missed any time in his career and he's got two years left on his contract. It would be about $8 million a year. Is he a guy that you think would be worth making a trade for?

BL: There is what you go after because of his durability and how smart he is. I remember that pass he picked off against the Vikings and everybody said, ‘Oh, what a play!' You and I discussed it with our subscribers that he saw the tackle gave him too good of an inside move, saw where the action was and he just made a good, strong veteran move. It wasn't such a tremendous play. It was a just a very good play, which a veteran lineman should be able to make nine out of 10 times because the reads are there. When a tackle like Bryant McKinnie opens up so fast and you can beat him, a red light comes on and the good ones will shut down their engines. That's the part that would be the tremendous play on top of his attitude and his durability. That's why he's carrying an $8 million tag as well.

He's the total package and he's got a great attitude. They were 1-15 last year and I happened to still watch him and he was still bringing it the best that he could. He never quit. There is an ‘I' in team to a certain extent because you've got to take that pride in yourself to give everything you have. Then all of the sudden there is another I, another I and another I and then you have a total team. You've got to take on your full responsibility and Taylor does and I would pay him $8 million or $10 million, I don't really care. Players can make all they want as long as they come to work. I'm not jealous, but I do get jealous when players don't come to work every day and have a lot better talent than what I had but have a lot worse end results. I'm never going to buy into that because it's not fair to the fans.

VU: You'd give up a second-round pick to get a guy like him?

BL: To bring him in right now with where the Vikings are at – seven Pro Bowlers and four alternates – yes, I would give up a second. I would not hesitate on a third.

VU: I'm guessing you might have an opinion or two about Brett Favre retiring?

BL: Losing Brett Favre broke my heart. I've played with Johnny Unitas and against a lot of the others. Brett Favre to me is the best quarterback ever to play the game and he's going to be greatly missed. People that don't think so or don't like him it's because he wasn't on their team. Everybody would have wanted a three-time MVP and a leader with his attitude. He was the total package. He was the face of the NFL. He's going to be greatly missed. I even asked Todd Bouman, who played with him two years ago, ‘Is Brett Favre everything I think he is?' Todd Bouman said he's more than that. He said come Wednesday or Thursday he's like a little kid in a candy store. He can't wait for the game on Sunday. I wish him nothing but the best.

VU: What do you think that does for the division?

BL: It's a flip of the coin now. The Vikings should be in a tremendous position. You've got Aaron Rodgers, who taking on the Green Bay Packers, who the last two years has been the youngest team in the National Football League. Brett Favre made that team. The percentage that he gave to their success was much more than the average quarterback. I think the Vikings have the same problem here. It takes three to five years to groom a quarterback and the Vikings are in that same situation now. But look at Chicago with their quarterback – who knows what's going on there? – look at Detroit, they still have Matt Millen. The Packers still have a young quarterback with Rodgers, who is probably going to be talking to Brett Favre every week. I'm sure Brett won't walk away from it that way.

VU: He says he is going to walk away from it.

BL: He's going to walk away, but he'll still be there. Here's something that we old farts always say: You say it's time to get out and your body is telling you it's time to get out and everything, but come fall you don't realize how much you love that game until you no longer play it. He knows how much he loved it to start with, but come September, he's going to be an awfully lonely person – by that I mean he'll die a million deaths not being able to play. He'll stay in contact with the Packers and he'll help out in any way he can, if they need him. Obviously, he's not going to override the coaches.

VU: He said that just because he was a good player doesn't mean he'd be a good coach or know what he's talking about. He was very emotional, breaking down a lot during the first half of the press conference.

BL: Wait until he sees the other guys running out from under the goal post at Lambeau. When you play for the love of the game, and obviously I played it and loved it for 12 years – when you play for the money, it's one thing – but when you play for the love of the game, you're hooked.

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 for a weekly Q & A session, and his monthly column appears in the magazine.

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