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Randle Chooses Teerlinck As HOF Presenter

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 12, 2010 – 12:27 pm

John Randle is a Hall of Famer now, but he was far from that status when he entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 1990. With a love for the game and work ethic rarely seen, Randle transformed himself from an undersized longshot to perhaps the best pass-rushing DT in NFL history.

But Randle would be the first person to tell you it took more than just a passion for the game and hard work. He would also credit his development and progression to excellent coaching, which is why he’s chosen former Vikings DL coach John Teerlinck as his presenter at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2010 enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio this August.

Randle was with the Vikings from 1990-2000 and Teerlinck was his position coach from 1992-1994, pivotal years in the young career of Randle and years that eventually proved to be building blocks to what was a Hall of Fame career.

“I’ve been an assistant coach for 22 years,” remarked Teerlinck, now with the Indianapolis Colts. “I’ve coached in 31 playoff games, six championships, and four Super Bowls. This tops them all. This is the biggest honor for an assistant coach.”

Click here to go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website to learn more about the Class of 2010.


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Personnel Guru Brandt Ranks Top Undrafted Players

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 18, 2010 – 3:42 pm

In little over a month, NFL teams will use the NFL draft to select players they feel will become core members of their team for seasons to come. Some of the NFL’s best players – from Hall of Famer’s to current superstars – saw their careers begin on the day they were drafted.

But with 53 roster spots on each of the league’s 32 teams, a 7-round draft once per year isn’t enough to replenish and supplement the talent pool. Teams must also find undrafted players who have the ability to play at the NFL level.

NFL personnel guru and NFL.com contributing writer Gil Brandt certainly understands this concept. His knowledge of and respect for the process of finding talented undrafted players is on display at NFL.com right now, as he penned an article that identifies the top 75 undrafted players in NFL history.

Vikings fans might appreciate the piece by Brandt because several of the names will be familiar. QB Warren Moon, who was originally signed by the Houston Oilers but also played well for the Vikings late in his career, is ranked by Brandt as the 4th-best undrafted player of all-time.

Also, DT John Randle makes Brandt’s list. He’s ranked as the 12th-best undrafted player of all-time.

There’s a current Vikings (hint: one-half of the Williams Wall) who is ranked somewhere between #26 and #50 and a former Vikings Head Coach who is ranked somewhere between #51 and #75.


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Randle Meets With Reporters, Discusses Hall Of Fame

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 12, 2010 – 2:19 pm

Former Vikings DT John Randle met with Twin Cities reporters at Winter Park on Friday afternoon, less than a week removed from being elected in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with an impressive class of 6 other individuals.

Randle was true to form during the press conference, obviously speaking candidly and from the heart while also showing is comedic side from time to time. If you talk to longtime members of the Vikings organization, they’ll describe Randle as a first-class individual whose intense and relentless attitude on the field was complemented by an equally as impressionable fun-loving and easy-going demeanor off the field.

A few highlights from Randle’s remarks on Friday…

– Randle was elected into the Hall last weekend and he said Saturday felt like draft day again in that he was sitting by his phone waiting for the call informing him of the result. On draft day back in 1990, Randle never received that phone call and went undrafted. But on Saturday he got the call saying he was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

– He mentioned several times during the press conference that he never thought about being a Hall of Famer and that it wasn’t until former teammate Randall McDaniel mentioned the possibility to him that he realized he had a shot. Also, Randle expressed amazement and gratitude that he was able to blaze a path from the small town of Mumford, TX, where he grew up, to the NFL and eventually Canton, OH and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

– Tampa Bay, the Vikings and Washington were the 3 teams interested in bringing Randle to training camp after he went undrafted. Randle said Tampa Bay, which is where his brother was playing, wanted him to play LB and basically guaranteed him a spot on the team’s practice squad. But Randle said he didn’t play LB and that the Vikings were a more attractive option for him because they had a smaller defensive line and he was an undersized DT himself.

– Going against offensive linemen such as McDaniel and Gary Zimmerman, Randle said, made him a better player and made him raise his level of play.

– Randle cited Paul Wiggin and John Teerlinck as 2 people who were instrumental in his development. Teerlinck is currently the Indianapolis Colts DL coach and Wiggin remains with the Vikings as a personnel consultant.

– Along with his impressive sack total (137.5), the way he played the game – never taking a play off – and also coming in as an undrafted player are 2 factors that aided his Hall of Fame credentials.

– Randle is not sure who will present him at the enshrinement ceremony in August but he did say that he’ll be talkative during his speech and will have a lot of people to thank for his career. He also said, in jest, that he spoke with people about including eye black on his bust in Canton but that it won’t happen, primarily because his wife wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea.

– After hearing the news that he was elected to the Hall on Saturday, Randle comically described the reaction in his house and also the process he and his family had to go through to get ready and be to the Minneapolis airport in just an hour to make a flight to Miami. Words don’t give it justice; you’ll have to view the video of Randle’s press conference on vikings.com to truly grasp the humor of the story as Randle told it.

There’s plenty more that is “highlight” worthy but I suggest watching the video of it on vikings.com.


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Favre On Randle And The Hall Of Fame

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 6, 2010 – 5:39 pm

Vikings fans quickly got used to seeing QB Brett Favre in a purple jersey during the 2009 season. But for 16 years Favre was the QB for Green Bay, and in those 16 seasons the rivalry between the Vikings and Packers continuously grew.

While Favre was certainly a major factor in the growth of that rivalry, new Hall of Famer John Randle was, too. The Vikings-Packers rivalry grew and it was largely a function of the rivalry that developed between Favre and Randle.

Numerous times throughout the 2009 season, Favre mentioned to reporters that it was nice to be on the good side of the fans inside Mall of America Field at the HHH Metrodome because for so many years he was forced to battle not only the Vikings defense but also a decided home-field advantage in Minnesota.

In commenting on Randle’s election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today, Favre mentioned the rivalry that developed between him and Randle and also the role that Randle played in making Minnesota such a tough place to play.

“I’m happy for John and all the guys who earned a spot in Canton today,” Favre said. “They’re all deserving of the honor and should be remembered among the all-time greats to play the game. John and I had a lot of great battles over the years and I always respected him and  considered him one of the most intense players we faced. He was nearly unblockable and he was a big part of what made playing at Minnesota so tough.”


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Brandt Speaks Of John Randle

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 6, 2010 – 5:01 pm

Longtime and pioneering NFL scout Gil Brandt is a great football mind. Perhaps he’s not the household name he should be, considering his accomplishments and credentials in the NFL, but his opinion is respected by those inside the game and by those who know the history of the NFL.

Among his many affiliations is NFL.com. He writes for the league’s official website, often times breaking down important matchups in NFL games. Right now he’s of course looking forward to Super Bowl XLIV, but he took time out of his day to speak with our Vikings public relations buddy Tom West.

“John Randle is probably the most underrated player in the Hall of Fame finalists this year and one of the most underrated in NFL history,” Brandt told Tom. “His quickness was just unbelievable. We always had a really hard time blocking him. He’s probably not as well known as some of the names up there this year, but he deserves it as much or more than any of them based on where he came from to get where he did.”

Amazingly, Randle registered 137.5 sacks during his 14-year career, more than any other DT in NFL history. He was a 7-time Pro Bowler and 6-time All-Pro selection, and was also named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Teams.

More amazing than any of that, though, is that he accomplished all of that after going undrafted out of college.


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Randle Elected Into Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 6, 2010 – 4:36 pm

Just one year after his teammate Randall McDaniel was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Vikings DT John Randle will also enter football immortality. It was announced in South Florida on Saturday afternoon that Randle will join 6 others as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

Randle, who went undrafted, is one of the best interior defensive linemen of all-time and the honor is more than well-deserved for #93. He was with the Vikings for 11 seasons (1990-2000) and spent 14 total seasons in the NFL.

A 7-time Pro Bowler and 6-time All-Pro selection, Randle finished his career with 137.5 sacks, the most by a DT in NFL history and tied with Richard Dent for 5th all-time. He started 150 of the 176 games he played in Minnesota, recorded 114.0 sacks as a Viking (3rd in franchise history) and was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

Aside from outstanding production, Randle also was known for his leadership and fiery passion for the game. From players who lined up against him to teammates who lined up with him, Randle was a popular player known for his boisterous and outgoing personality. He was an NFL Films favorite, often captured on camera for his bizarre dialogue during and after plays as well as his mask of eye black.

The other 6 members of the 2010 class are: G Russ Grimm, LB Rickey Jackson, CB and current Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, RB Floyd Little, WR Jerry Rice and RB Emmitt Smith.

Be sure to stay tuned to vikings.com for more coverage and information surrounding Randle’s election. The Pro Football HOF Class of 2010 will be enshrined in August.


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HOF Class of 2010 To Be Announced Saturday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 3, 2010 – 9:36 am

Super Bowl XLIV will be played this Sunday, as the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints will clash for the NFL’s ultimate prize. Most Vikings fans probably don’t have much rooting interest in that event.

But there is another event this weekend that should capture the interest of Vikings fans across the country – the election of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Former Vikings WR Cris Carter and DE John Randle are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be under consideration during this year’s selection process.

The Hall’s Selection Committee will meet in South Florida, site of this year’s Super Bowl, on Saturday afternoon to elect this year’s class and then they’ll announce their elections at 4 p.m. CT during a 1-hour NFL Network special, live from the Broward County Convention Center.

For more information on the selection process, this year’s finalists and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you can click here to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s official website.


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Cris Carter, John Randle Finalists For HOF Class Of 2010

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 9, 2010 – 11:05 am

The NFL begins its Super Bowl tournament today with a pair of Wild Card Round games as the 12 playoff teams try to cap their quest for the game’s ultimate team accomplishment – a Super Bowl victory.

But before that team-related quest begins, it’s important to acknowledge a group of 15 former players/coaches/administrators who are now one step closer to achieving the greatest individual accomplishment in the NFL – induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It was announced Friday that 2 former Vikings – Cris Carter and John Randle – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in South Florida on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, 1 day before the Super Bowl.

The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the 2 senior nominees announced in August 2009 (former Detroit Lions cornerback Dick LeBeau and former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 44-member Selection Committee meets.

At the 2010 selection meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist. Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between 4 and 7 new members will be selected each year. No more than 5 modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of 6 or 7 can only be achieved if 1 or both senior nominees are elected.

To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

Click here to learn more and to see a complete list of the finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010.

Congratulations to Cris Carter and John Randle!

Information from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s official website – http://www.profootballhof.com – was used in this report.


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