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Vikings Legends Reflect On Doleman’s Career

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 28, 2011 – 6:37 am

It was announced earlier this morning that Chris Doleman will become the 19th player in franchise history to join the Vikings Ring of Honor. Doleman, a Vikings DE for 10 seasons (1985-93, 99), will be inducted into the Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony on Sunday, October 23, when the Vikings host the Green Bay Packers.

Doleman’s place in Vikings history is significant, as he registered 96.5 sacks as a Viking (he had 150.5 career sacks), 31 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries, making him one of the best defensive linemen in the history of a franchise with several Hall of Fame linemen. Confirming Doleman’s significant status among Vikings greats is the way in which fellow Vikings speak of him.

Here’s what fellow Vikings Ring of Honor members John Randle and Scott Studwell, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Vikings QB Warren Moon, had to say about Doleman.

“Chris Doleman had the ability to deliver the big play when you needed it. Teams had to keep an eye on him because they knew it was coming, be it in the beginning, middle or end of the game. He was capable of making that big play. As a young guy learning the NFL game from him, he did so much for me. He taught me how to be a pro on and off the field. He was quiet on the field, a leader without speaking. It was his presence that influenced games. The way he studied the game and showed his teammates the way to prepare and be a mature player made a big impact on me.” — Randle

“Chris was a phenomenal player and a guy who could have excelled in any decade. His size, speed, balance and skill level were ahead of their time. He changed how teams could play against us. Chris was a good friend and teammate and earned the respect of the locker room.” — Studwell

“Doleman is one of those rare guys, maybe one of four or five that I played against during my career right there with Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, that you had to know where they were and set your protection accordingly. You had to know if you were going to help the tackle out with a tight end or running back to chip on those guys. Doleman was someone you always had to worry about because you knew he could get to the quarterback. The amount of time and attention that went to preparing for Chris Doleman benefitted the others guys on those defensive lines. He was one of
those guys that you had to make sure could be blocked in one way or another.” — Moon


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