Lurtsema's Reaction: Favre and more

Former Vikings defensive lineman Bob Lurtsema reacts to the latest news on Brett Favre, his potential contract and the impact on tickets, plus opinions on other leagues joining the battle against the Williams Wall and a couple of receivers working with one of the best.

VU: Are you still convinced Brett Favre is going to be here or is there any doubt creeping into your mind?

BL: There was never any doubt in my mind, unless he had pain throwing. That tendon that they operated on is basically a useless tendon. The only thing that it creates is if it's severed like it was last year or slightly torn, then it creates pain. With pain, it changes the throwing motion. Once he had the operation, that made it, rather than 99.9 percent, a 100 percent that he is coming. I never wavered a bit and I can't wait. I was doing an appearance the other day in downtown Minneapolis and wore my purple t-shirt that says, "Got Favre?" Everybody just loved it. Money will never be the problem with him. It isn't about money. He has what every NFL player has who played more than six or eight years and that's such a tremendous love for the game. Even me, as little as I made during my 12-year career, I would have played for less. That's the way Brett Favre is and that's why I'll embrace him.

VU: He said he has to be sure he can play an entire NFL season. What do you think he has to do to convince himself that he can do that or this just him delaying a decision for some other reason?

BL: I think he just wants to know that he's 100 percent with the arm – if he throws 100 balls that his arm recovers the next day to 100 percent. Also with the fatigue level, I know he's doing some running, that he's not too fatigued. A good, true professional doesn't want to come to camp to get in shape. You like to go into camp in shape and then hone the minor parts of your profession. That's the outlook of the ultimate athlete. I think that's the way he's addressing it. The media will never look at it that way, but if you talk to any athlete around, he will totally understand what he's saying.

VU: How much do you think this would impact single-game tickets?

BL: You'd better buy one now. They will be totally sold out in a hurry. Just with the tickets that aren't sold, they'll bring in $7 million the first day he signs. That's how much he'll impact ticket sales. That's not counting what he'll bring in with jersey sales and liquor sales at the Metrodome, merchandise sales.

VU: Do you see any possibility that they would sign a two-year contract with him and he actually plays two years, or is this a one-year deal for him?

BL: It would have to be a one-year deal. I think the respect they have for him, Brett Favre goes one year at a time. Once again, it's not about money. I like the bonus clauses. I'm so upset that Mark Sanchez started 16 games and is guaranteed $28 million. That's a joke that someone like that is guaranteed that much when there are so many other things that money could go towards for veterans. The NFL owners have to wake up. Give Brett Favre every incentive he wants and it doesn't bother me because it's incentive-laden, as long as you accomplish something during the season.

VU: A few of the other leagues like MLB and the NHL want to enter their opinion into the court cases with Pat and Kevin Williams to support the NFL's stance on the collective bargaining agreement. What do you think of that?

BL: I think it's a joke. You can babysit these athletes so far, but when a certain substance isn't on the bottle, that's inferring almost illiteracy on the players' part. They can grab a bottle and look at it and see that everything in there is a legal substance. Why can't they take it? The stuff that they found (bumetanide) isn't on the bottle and it should be done right there. For the other leagues to support it, it's good that they're trying to get a little stricter as far as the drugs go because I'm very much anti-drug, but some common sense has to be entered. They're trying to negotiate more for leniency when it comes to the next collective bargaining agreement. There is more to it than just what they are doing. As far as I'm concerned, for the NFL to go this far is just confusing.

VU: You saw that Sidney Rice and Jaymar Johnson are working out with Larry Fitzgerald in Minnesota. How much do you think that can help them?

BL: Immensely. Cris Carter was over there as well and Cris was showing them how to cut on a certain line. Sidney was off by about six inches on how he turned and Carter made him come back and do it over again. That's part of the technique that the great Raymond Berry used with the Colts when I played with them back in 1966. He would work on a 7.25-yard out route and it's 7.25 – it's not 7.98 or anything like that. That's how precise you get. That's what you need for a good, precise quarterback. Brett Favre is going to throw to a spot and if you don't get it, he's going to jump your ever-loving fanny. He'll embarrass you right in front of 50 million people. It doesn't really matter, and he should embarrass you because if a professional can't run the right routes and the quarterback throws that football, then jump him. Last year, Gus Frerotte bit the bullet on a couple of interceptions that weren't his fault. It was the receiver's fault. I think when that happens, the quarterback should jump the receiver. In the same breath, there is nothing wrong with a receiver coming back to the quarterback and saying, ‘Hey, what are you doing?' It's a two-way, open communication. People look at the body language of it and they draw their own conclusion. I just think it's good communication to have a greater chance for success.

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

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