Lurtsema's Reaction: Allen Talk

Former Vikings defensive lineman Bob Lurtsema talks about the moves and attitude he saw out of Jared Allen at minicamp and OTAs, along with other matters on the defensive line.

VU: Did anything in particular stand out from the minicamp and any of the organized team activities that you watched?

BL: The thing that was fun to watch was Jared Allen. His inside pass-rush move is always going up the field. A lot of times athletes will take the inside and go parallel. When Allen makes that inside move, he's moving up field, almost a full step. That's what you work on constantly as a defensive lineman. When you make your moves, you're always moving upfield; even on a spin move, you don't want to spin in the same spot – work upfield. That's a big-time move the way he handled it.

What they were working on with Coach (Karl) Dunbar, they were working on what you call a back-door route. A lot of times as a defensive end, when they work you to the outside, the tackle will drive you past the quarterback and a lot of ends will keep going. They've got a drill now where you come in the back door. You get past them and then you're going to turn your shoulder and try to do a 180 and come back on that. He does that very, very well. That's a reason he's got more sacks. The only guy that's got more sacks than him in the last four years is the guy who can dance, Jason Taylor.

VU: How much do you think Allen's attitude and so-called motor will rub off on the other guys?

BL: I hope it rubs off 100 percent because he embraces the pressure. … He knows how hard he works, so that pressure that the writers want to put on him doesn't bother him. When he works with his attitude, his work ethic, there is no science to what he's doing. You can rip on him all you want – so what, what's wrong with what he's doing? He's giving 110 percent and doing the best he could. If you have his attitude, you don't have the pressure that a lot of writers want to put on him. Back when I played on that great defensive line, we had fun. We knew we were good, but we didn't feel that pressure. When you're around that environment, you assume everybody has that attitude.

VU: What do you think of Ray Edwards' predictions? Do you get a kick out of it when he had five sacks last year and had the suspension?

BL: He should be more worried about just being there and having the players count on him. I don't like it (the public talk about breaking Michael Strahan's sack record), but if he wants to do it, that's fine. Make all the statements you want, but you'd better be there and have that attitude and give the best you can. If you can't stay eligible for the entire season, I don't particularly like a player mouthing off like that. If there is an athlete that has half the talent and gives 110 percent, if he's got two or three sacks, I'd go to bat for him. But he's got to be there the full year and not make the stupid mistake that gets him suspended.

VU: On somewhat of a similar subject, do you have any gut feeling on what might happen with Bryant McKinnie.

BL: No, I don't.

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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