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.
Tags: John Randle, Paul Wiggin
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 2 Comments »