VU: What do you think will happen with Pat Williams and Kevin Williams and their appeals of four-game suspensions?
BL: I think they'll get off on basically a technicality, unless there is something that we don't know about. If an ingredient isn't listed on the bottle, whatever the reasoning, you can't know what the players were thinking. Everybody that is not in their situation is making judgments. Just like any fan taking a pill, if you read what's in it and there turns out to be something else in there that's not on the bottle, you can't blame yourself for that. So I think they'll get off. They should get off, totally scott-free.
VU: Do you think it helps their case that there are others around the league – Grady Jackson in Atlanta, the Saints players – that seem to all be in the same situation?
BL: Oh, yeah. Plus, they've taken the drug off the market. I know with the diet pills they watch it really close over there at the Vikings because that's part of the reason that Korey Stringer, God bless him, lost his life. I think there's a little more of a red flag over there at the Vikings' locker room.
VU: One of the fans on the VikingUpdate.com site pointed out the disparity in the number of sacks the Vikings have on the road vs. at home – 22 at home and four on the road. Is there any good explanation you can give as a former defensive lineman why there would be that huge of a disparity.
BL: That's huge. A lot of it does come down to the type of surface you're playing on. My last year, even though I had two sacks against the Jets, which was outdoors and grass with cleats, I felt so much faster in the Kingdome (in Seattle) with the surface itself and the molded-type soles that you had. You had different shoes that you could try on. It wasn't so slippery. When you're playing (at the Metrodome), you do have better traction.
VU: What do you think about Mike Tice's chances to find a head coaching job a year or two down the road?
BL: Absolutely fantastic. He will be a head coach someplace again. As far as seeing things that happen on the field, he's brilliant. He was a quarterback at Maryland; he was a tight end and played 14 years in the NFL. He knows the game. He did an excellent job the last year with no budget whatsoever and limited coaching. I think some coaches are in over their head because they can't see things quick enough. Mike Tice could take a look and it was a scan, like a Polaroid, and he'd know where all 22 people are. The average fan would have to take one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two at least to find out where everyone was at. That's a God-given gift. It's no different than a quarterback when he reads. I remember so many times Joe Montana wouldn't even look to his right and he would just throw the ball because he knew his receiver would be there. Mike Tice has that quality. Plus, he's played the game and players respect him. He'll get in their face, and some players don't like that, but then you can't please everybody. Everybody wants to point to him being an assistant head coach in Jacksonsville, where they are 4-6, but they lost four offensive linemen, two regular guards in the first game. Injuries do play into it, and it will be interesting to see how competitive they are come Sunday.
VU: What did you think of Adrian Peterson not being out on the field for the final drive last week?
BL: When you only get seven plays in the fourth quarter, with Chester Taylor in there you have the best third-down back in the National Football League and a lot of this stuff wouldn't happen if Chester wouldn't have fumbled, unfortunately, when the guy came up from behind and stripped the ball. Adrian probably would have come in at that time. But the game dictates it. Everyone wants Adrian to get the ball 30 times. How often does LaDainian Tomlinson get it? You don't do it every game. You cannot be predictable. When the Vikings offense is out there, they have some good looks, but maybe they aren't getting the separation or there might be a bad pass. They aren't doing the other little things. Everybody is going on the hindsight aspect of it – he should have been in there. Sure, you'd like to have him in there every play … but that's a tough call. It's a chess game coming down to the fourth quarter. It's a chess game when you're that close in the game, and that's why I'll go to bat for Coach Childress going for it on those fourth downs on short-yardage calls. I think it's great. Now the next time a fourth-down comes up for the Vikings, will they pass or will they run? Will Peterson be in there? The defenses don't know. You can't have him out there all the time.
VU: How about Troy Williamson wanting to meet Childress at the 50-yard line?
BL: Troy's a nice kid, he really is. He was doing it tongue-in-cheek. Now, he doesn't like Childress. He hates Childress, but that's a known fact. He was kind of smirking that, ‘Yeah, I'd like to take him on.' I think everybody whose coach fired him or hated him would like to take that coach on at the 50-yard line. I know there were a couple of coaches I hated and I'd love to take them on at the 50-yard line. I wouldn't tie my hands behind my back. I want a guaranteed win if I'm going out there.
Bob Lurtsema registered 57 regular-season sacks and three in the playoffs during his 12-year career as a defensive lineman in the NFL, playing with the Baltimore Colts, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, and was the longtime publisher of Viking Update. He joins VikingUpdate.com for a weekly Q & A session, and his monthly column appears in the magazine.
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