Lurtsema's Reaction: Cutler and more

Imagine this: Former Viking Bob Lurtsema has a strong opinion about a quarterback. No, really, he does. See what Lurtsema thought of the Jay Cutler trade, both in what Chicago gave up and the kind of player (and person) he thinks Cutler is. And Lurtsema gives his take on the fans' level of confidence in the Vikings right now.

VU: What's your reaction to the Bears trading two first-round picks (2009 and 2010), a third-rounder (2009) and Kyle Orton in return for Jay Cutler and a fifth-rounder (2009)?

BL: When Chicago makes a deal like this, all the sudden the importance of a quarterback in the NFC North has been multiplied about 2,000 times. You wonder how well that worked out in Green Bay when Brett Favre left and, of course, the Vikings didn't have an established quarterback yet. I think Detroit is still struggling all over the place. They've gone through so many of them. I actually liked Jon Kitna.

The price that the Bears gave up, what they did was anticipated getting a 25-year old who should play at least another 10 years in the league. He does have a bullet of an arm. It's not as bad as the Herschel Walker trade, but that sure is substantial for a quarterback with his attitude. I just hope when he gets all his new money that he can move his mommy and daddy with him so they can be in the same city with him. Everybody can draw their own picture on that; I've already drawn mine. For Chicago, it's going to be a huge, huge plus, but can he adapt in his first year – you don't know because it does take time to get in sync with your receivers. It will be interesting to follow the Chicago Bears in the preseason to see how much playing time he'll actually get during the preseason so I can judge another coach to see how you play your new players in the preseason, especially quarterbacks.

VU: What did you think were the chances that the Vikings would land Jay Cutler?

BL: I thought zero. I think there comes a point where the strength of what coach Brad Childress has done is supposed to be working with the quarterbacks and being an offensive coordinator. He's got enough quarterbacks now in his back pocket that I didn't think he should still be looking for one. If he was looking for Jay Cutler, I would have to honestly say that I'd wonder about the coaching ability of Brad Childress.

VU: If they wouldn't have made the Sage Rosenfels trade, would your opinion on them going after Cutler be different?

BL: Yes, big-time. I thought there were two little babies out there that were crying. I think Jay Cutler and their new, young Denver Broncos coach, Josh McDaniels, that was the saddest thing for an ex-player to watch – the two millionaires can't get a hold of each other? You get to the point with what's going on behind the scenes, that it's so secretive, you wonder if (owner) Pat Bowlen actually called that from Day One. Did he actually want him out of there? Was that his call? Or did Jay Cutler's agent tell Jay to put his house and his parents' house up for sale so that it would be a move that would allow him to make more money with a different club? I don't know, but it's just absolutely childish. To a degree, as a fan, it sickens me to have to read that crap about two spoiled millionaires, the young coach and Cutler. If it was Cutler's agent (Bus Cook), I think the NFL should start making it stricter on who represents these players since that was Brett Favre's agent as well. All they are doing is toying with the public, and the public is who pays all these players' salaries. To think because of where they are at that they can manipulate the season-ticket holder and great fans, that irks me.

VU: Ultimately, it's the players who seem to control so much now because it seems like all they have to do is say enough to get the public outraged and they almost force it to where the team can't keep the player because he won't be happy there. It just seems like the players have so much control over the situation and can force a trade if they want to take it to this extreme.

BL: I just got done reading ‘Glory Game' by Frank Gifford. That was the championship game that changed football forever on Dec. 28, 1958. In talking to all the players and how they never looked for the camera and how they played within the team aspect, it was intriguing the way the old-time players approached the game. I personally, if I was a coach or even an owner, if I ever had a ballplayer run straight toward the end zone at the end of a play to make it all about him and know that the camera was going to be on him, if I saw him playing for another team, I would never hire him. If he did it on my team, the quickest chance I would get, I would let him go. It's getting to the point now, because teams are fighting to sell their games out, where the players aren't going to have the control that they have right now. All you've got to do is get a couple superstars who think they can sit out a year and think that will prove how good they are and not let them make $5 million or $7 million in one year – let them make what the normal person makes – and there will be a wakeup call. With the number of potential blackouts going on and 62,000 fans booing the coach and the economy, there isn't a lot positive things going on and it's going to come back and bite the overrated players with inflated egos in the butt.

VU: Speaking of blackouts, even though the Vikings are coming off a playoff season, what do you think the fan excitement level is right now? Do you think fans have the confidence that this team can contend for the Super Bowl?

BL: The fans aren't there yet. I'm on vacation in Florida and Minnesota people come up to me and they really question the decisions made by the coaching staff. When they let Matt Birk go, that was a local boy, they were really upset. And then you have somebody like T.J. Houshmandzadeh go on the Dan Patrick Show and says nationally that the reason he didn't come to the Vikings was because there was no stability at quarterback, and there has never been a 300-yard passing game in the last three years, fans know that. We don't have to write it on the web site. Fans know that. The fans are not stupid. You can't pull the wool over the fans' eyes. Football fans are too knowledgeable.


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.



Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n","mobileBody":"VU: What's your reaction to the Bears trading two first-round picks (2009 and 2010), a third-rounder (2009) and Kyle Orton in return for Jay Cutler and a fifth-rounder (2009)?

BL: When Chicago makes a deal like this, all the sudden the importance of a quarterback in the NFC North has been multiplied about 2,000 times. You wonder how well that worked out in Green Bay when Brett Favre left and, of course, the Vikings didn't have an established quarterback yet. I think Detroit is still struggling all over the place. They've gone through so many of them. I actually liked Jon Kitna.

The price that the Bears gave up, what they did was anticipated getting a 25-year old who should play at least another 10 years in the league. He does have a bullet of an arm. It's not as bad as the Herschel Walker trade, but that sure is substantial for a quarterback with his attitude. I just hope when he gets all his new money that he can move his mommy and daddy with him so they can be in the same city with him. Everybody can draw their own picture on that; I've already drawn mine. For Chicago, it's going to be a huge, huge plus, but can he adapt in his first year – you don't know because it does take time to get in sync with your receivers. It will be interesting to follow the Chicago Bears in the preseason to see how much playing time he'll actually get during the preseason so I can judge another coach to see how you play your new players in the preseason, especially quarterbacks.

VU: What did you think were the chances that the Vikings would land Jay Cutler?

BL: I thought zero. I think there comes a point where the strength of what coach Brad Childress has done is supposed to be working with the quarterbacks and being an offensive coordinator. He's got enough quarterbacks now in his back pocket that I didn't think he should still be looking for one. If he was looking for Jay Cutler, I would have to honestly say that I'd wonder about the coaching ability of Brad Childress.

VU: If they wouldn't have made the Sage Rosenfels trade, would your opinion on them going after Cutler be different?

BL: Yes, big-time. I thought there were two little babies out there that were crying. I think Jay Cutler and their new, young Denver Broncos coach, Josh McDaniels, that was the saddest thing for an ex-player to watch – the two millionaires can't get a hold of each other? You get to the point with what's going on behind the scenes, that it's so secretive, you wonder if (owner) Pat Bowlen actually called that from Day One. Did he actually want him out of there? Was that his call? Or did Jay Cutler's agent tell Jay to put his house and his parents' house up for sale so that it would be a move that would allow him to make more money with a different club? I don't know, but it's just absolutely childish. To a degree, as a fan, it sickens me to have to read that crap about two spoiled millionaires, the young coach and Cutler. If it was Cutler's agent (Bus Cook), I think the NFL should start making it stricter on who represents these players since that was Brett Favre's agent as well. All they are doing is toying with the public, and the public is who pays all these players' salaries. To think because of where they are at that they can manipulate the season-ticket holder and great fans, that irks me.

VU: Ultimately, it's the players who seem to control so much now because it seems like all they have to do is say enough to get the public outraged and they almost force it to where the team can't keep the player because he won't be happy there. It just seems like the players have so much control over the situation and can force a trade if they want to take it to this extreme.

BL: I just got done reading ‘Glory Game' by Frank Gifford. That was the championship game that changed football forever on Dec. 28, 1958. In talking to all the players and how they never looked for the camera and how they played within the team aspect, it was intriguing the way the old-time players approached the game. I personally, if I was a coach or even an owner, if I ever had a ballplayer run straight toward the end zone at the end of a play to make it all about him and know that the camera was going to be on him, if I saw him playing for another team, I would never hire him. If he did it on my team, the quickest chance I would get, I would let him go. It's getting to the point now, because teams are fighting to sell their games out, where the players aren't going to have the control that they have right now. All you've got to do is get a couple superstars who think they can sit out a year and think that will prove how good they are and not let them make $5 million or $7 million in one year – let them make what the normal person makes – and there will be a wakeup call. With the number of potential blackouts going on and 62,000 fans booing the coach and the economy, there isn't a lot positive things going on and it's going to come back and bite the overrated players with inflated egos in the butt.

VU: Speaking of blackouts, even though the Vikings are coming off a playoff season, what do you think the fan excitement level is right now? Do you think fans have the confidence that this team can contend for the Super Bowl?

BL: The fans aren't there yet. I'm on vacation in Florida and Minnesota people come up to me and they really question the decisions made by the coaching staff. When they let Matt Birk go, that was a local boy, they were really upset. And then you have somebody like T.J. Houshmandzadeh go on the Dan Patrick Show and says nationally that the reason he didn't come to the Vikings was because there was no stability at quarterback, and there has never been a 300-yard passing game in the last three years, fans know that. We don't have to write it on the web site. Fans know that. The fans are not stupid. You can't pull the wool over the fans' eyes. Football fans are too knowledgeable.


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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