Friday, July 29, 2011
Entertaining Lutui ran course in Arizona
By Mike Sando
Deuce Lutui's departure from the Arizona Cardinals to the Cincinnati Bengals deprives the NFC West of a colorful character -- and a pretty good guard, too.
The Cardinals won't miss Lutui's annual battles making weight (he once reported at 396 pounds), his demands for a new contract and his seeming resistance to motivational ploys. The evidence suggests Lutui had run his course in Arizona, with the Cardinals making little push to bring him back.
With center Lyle Sendlein re-signing, guard Daryn Colledge coming over from Green Bay and veterans Rex Hadnot and Jeremy Bridges already on the roster, Arizona can still field an experienced group on the interior.
But who will continually drive opponents batty with maddening on-field antics? Back in 2009, Lutui needed only a short while to push Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris over the edge. Lutui decked Harris twice in legal but not entirely necessary fashion. Harris responded with a punch to the head that drew an ejection. Lutui shrugged it off after the game.
If Lutui could be an aggravating player to face, his antics could be entertaining to watch. Lutui was also the player seen on ESPN speaking with quarterback Derek Anderson on the sideline during a tough defeat against San Francisco last season, creating the impression, perhaps unfairly, that Anderson wasn't taking the game seriously enough.
Lutui was always good for a joke, once even comparing himself to Lindsey Lohan for all the negative publicity his weight battles were generating. In the end, a little more seriousness from Lutui might have coaxed a better offer from the Cardinals.