MANKATO -- With John Randle going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, it seems fitting to run a couple of quotes from Vikings Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson on the impact Randle made on his career.
Randle had his best seasons in Minnesota but he finished his career in Seattle. Hutchinson, a first-round pick by Seattle in 2001, got to go against Randle in practices.
“I tell people all the time, my first three years in the league were against him in Seattle and if I’m anything today it’s because I had to go against him," Hutchinson said of Randle. "When you practice against a guy like that day in and day out the games kind of seem easy. Everyone else seems like they are going in slow motion. I’d hate to have played against him in his prime, which I’ve talked to a lot of guys that did. But for a guy that was in years 12 through 14, [he] was still moving faster than anybody I probably played against those first couple of years.”
“That’s every kid's dream growing up," Hutchinson said. "He was really on the low end of the spectrum and came from really nothing. A lot of people lived in that house, no running water and all that stuff. He fought his way up. Everybody said he was undersized and he just kept trying to eat, get bigger and stronger and faster and now he’s one of the best that ever played the game. He’s got a good family and is financially set for life and enjoying life now. That’s one of those stories that you wish upon everybody.”