View Full Version : Ex-Viking has hand in Bowl

02-04-2006, 09:57 PM
Ex-Viking has hand in Bowl

Posted on Sat, Feb. 04, 2006

Randle mentored Seahawks' Bernard about playing defense

Pioneer Press

DETROIT — Although he ended his 14-year NFL career three years ago, John Randle left a meaningful legacy with the Seattle Seahawks.
After 11 seasons with the Vikings, Randle signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Seahawks in 2001. In 2002, Randle tutored a fourth-round draft pick from Texas.

That player, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, had a breakout season in 2005, racking up 8½ sacks and forcing two fumbles.

"He's my mentor," Bernard said of Randle. "I still talk to him all the time. From Day One, he took me under his wing and said, 'I'm going to get you to my level.'

"I don't know if I've gotten there yet. But I feel like just being with him and talking to him, and seeing him every day just helped me so much, on and off the field. I give all the thanks to him."

After starting two games as a rookie, Bernard's role was decreased in his second season. He didn't start and recorded only two sacks.
But Randle taught him the finer points of the game.

"Sometimes, when rookies come in, the vets don't want to take you under their wings because you could be the guy who takes their job," Bernard said. "But one thing about Johnny, he's a big Texas guy, and I'm from Texas. So he liked me, and he wanted to help me and he just showed me the way."

Randle, who had 137½ career sacks, taught Bernard about technique and tendencies of offensive linemen. This season, when he went a few games without a sack, Bernard got an earful of suggestions from Randle, who watched all of his games.

"Johnny was a unique person. He was unique in his size," Seahawks defensive line coach Dwaine Board said. "He knew how to use his leverage. He taught that to Rocky. Johnny also taught Rocky the game itself. I can coach it, but players teach others how to play it."

Bernard said Randle taught him another lesson.

"You can't play this game if you're not having fun," Bernard said. "This game is played on so much emotion that when you're out there, you have to get after it a little bit."

Future Viking? The Vikings would be thrilled to add a high-quality guard such as Steve Hutchinson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection. But Hutchinson, who will be a free agent this offseason, refuses to talk about his future until after Sunday's game.

"I made a point of not thinking about that until the season is over," he said. "So I've got another week, and then that whole kind of game starts."
Hutchinson might not be going anywhere. There is speculation that the Seahawks might place a transition or franchise tender on him, limiting his ability to test free agency.

Full steam ahead: Althoughhe doesn't get a lot of attention, Seahawks fullback Mack Strong is considered one of the elite at his position. He was recently selected to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said Strong is one of his favorite players.
"The Mack Strongs of the world make it worth my while to coach and teach," Holmgren said. "He is unselfish. He has played 13 years, longer than anybody we have. He does all the dirty work. He is the lead blocker most every play for our halfback. He is a great man in the community. He is a great father and a wonderful family guy. He is not a real talkative man, but when I have asked him to talk to the team, he has been willing. I can't say enough about him."

Briefly: This weekend will be the 20th year of Disney's "I'm going to Disney World commercial." Phil Simms was the first one to do it, after Super Bowl XXI. Disney has something special planned for this anniversary.

The winner traditionally gets a free trip, with his family, to Disney World the day after the game and is featured in a parade.

Sean Jensen can be reached at sjensen@pioneerpress.com.


02-05-2006, 10:46 PM
John Randle was one if the best DT we ever seen in purple !!!!!!!!!!!!
Next stop for Randle.....( hopefully )...... the Hall of Fame !!!!!!!!!!!!!

02-06-2006, 01:59 PM
Randle is my all time favorite Vikings. The Hall of Fame should come calling for John. I sure hope it does.