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Continued: Jan. 10, 1999: Randall McDaniel is Vikings' old reliable

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 15, 2006 - 6:41 PM

"There are a lot of offensive linemen who play the position by absorbing the blows and fighting off the defender. Not Randall. He delivers the blow."

McDaniel was taken with the 19th pick in the first round by the Vikings in 1988. He was on the all-rookie team that first season, and 10 consecutive seasons as a Pro Bowl starter have followed.

"Randall McDaniel was the first Randy Moss on this team," Tice said. "Randall was passed over by a lot of teams. The Vikings took him later in the draft. He came in and started dominating. The only difference between McDaniel then and Moss now is that Randall plays an unglorified position.

"TV follows the ball, so people follow the ball. They don't see Randall's knockdowns. They don't see him controlling people."

And McDaniel does it with class. "He won't cut," Tice said. "Even though cut blocking is legal, he doesn't want anyone accusing of him of being a dirty player."

McDaniel was a free agent after the 1996 season. The Vikings designated him as a franchise player to keep him off the market, then signed him to a long-term contract.

"There was speculation here that Randall might come back to Arizona and play for the Cardinals," Gray said. "I knew that wouldn't happen - that the Vikings weren't going to let him get away. "I watch him as much as you can watch an offensive lineman when the Vikings are on television. To me, it looks like he's on cruise control because he's so much better than anyone else."

It looks the same to Tice as he breaks down game film. "I hand out the sheets with grades and, sometimes with Randall, I'll just write across the box, `Wow!' " Tice said. "The other linemen have been dogging me about a TV interview when I said that I treated Randall differently. I've been telling them, `Don't even daydream that I'm going to treat you like I treat him.' . . . I treat Randall McDaniel with the respect that he deserves. He doesn't demand it. He commands it."

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