For me personally, I was happy to see a somewhat unappreciated (when he played) but always great defensive player like John Randle get selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in February. I say "unappreciated" because, when you really look at Randle's career, it rivals the work of defensive greats like Lawrence Taylor and Mike Singletary. Plus, in general, defensive players tend to get the shaft for the HoF in favor of less talented, less important, but flashier offensive players. So, to see Randle get in over the loud-mouthed silliness that is Shannon Sharpe made me feel all warm and bubbly inside.
For those who think a defensive tackle needs to be over 300 pounds to be good, John Randle (287 pounds) says different.
For those who say a great player has to be drafted from a big-time college program, John Randle (undrafted out of Texas A&I) says different.
For those you think that under-sized DTs won't last long in the NFL, John Randle (15 years in the NFL) says different.
For a significant part of Randle's great career with the Minnesota Vikings, former-Colts coach Tony Dungy was his defensive coordinator. Also during that time, current Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck was his position coach. This August, when Randle will be immortalized in Canton for his career as, arguably, the best defensive tackle of the 1990s, Teerlinck will be the person who presents him:
As defensive line coach with the Vikings from 1992-94, Teerlinck helped develop Randle from an undrafted rookie free agent to a consensus All-Pro defensive lineman. "I've been an assistant coach for 22 years," Teerlinck, now with the Indianapolis Colts, told the Hall of Fame website. "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."
I can't wait to hear the speech.