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John Randle

For other uses, see John Randle (disambiguation).
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No. 93
Position: Defensive Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1967-12-12) December 12, 1967 (age 48)
Place of birth: Mumford, Texas
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Career information
High school: Hearne (TX)
College: Texas A&M–Kingsville
Undrafted: 1990
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics
Tackles: 556
Sacks: 137.5
Interceptions: 1
Stats at

John Anthony Randle (born December 12, 1967) is a former American football defensive tackle who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League.[1] On February 6, 2010 he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Born in Mumford, Texas, Randle was raised poor, and worked odd jobs when he was young.[2] His brother Ervin Randle played as a linebacker for eight years.[3] Randle played high school football in Hearne, Texas. He started his college playing career at Trinity Valley Community College, before transferring to Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

Early NFL career

Randle went undrafted; he tried out for his brother's team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was thought to be too small, and was not signed to a contract. The 6'1" 287-lbs. defensive linemen was picked up by the Vikings during training camp, playing his first season in 1990. He went to his first Pro Bowl in 1993 after recording 11.5 sacks, and was quickly becoming one of the dominant defensive tackles of his era. Once Henry Thomas left the Vikings, Randle increased his training regimen, and became well known for his disarming on-field heckling of opposing players. Randle would record double digit sacks during nine different seasons, including a career-high and league-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997.[4]

Randle had an ongoing rivalry with Packers quarterback Brett Favre, whom he sacked more than any other quarterback; Favre said that Randle was the toughest defensive player he faced and "on artificial turf he's unblockable".[5] To play off the rivalry with Brett Favre, Randle starred in a commercial which featured himself sewing a miniature version of Favre's #4 jersey which he put on a live chicken. The commercial then showed Randle chasing the chicken around what was supposed to be Randle's backyard and ended with Randle cooking chicken on his BBQ, leading to fierce protests from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.[6] Like fellow Minnesota Viking Chris Hovan, Randle was known for eccentric face painting as well as trash talking on the field.[7]

Later years in Seattle

At the end of the 2000 season,[8] Randle signed with the Seattle Seahawks, and retired in March 2004.[9] He had planned to retire a year earlier, but Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren convinced him to stay one more year. The Seahawks made the playoffs two times while he was on the roster, but did not reach the Super Bowl. While with the Seahawks, Randle acquired his final sack. Randle left the NFL tied with Richard Dent for 5th in number of career sacks, and his 137.5 career sacks is the most by a defensive tackle in NFL history, aside from Vikings legend Alan Page who had a total of 148.5 sacks.[10] Over his career he was named to seven Pro Bowl squads. He was named All Tackle Machine of 1999 by Tackle: The Magazine.[11]

NFL stats

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries
1990 MIN 16 0 0 0 1.0 0 0
1991 MIN 16 0 0 0 9.5 0 0
1992 MIN 16 0 0 0 11.5 0 1
1993 MIN 16 49 36 13 12.5 3 0
1994 MIN 16 41 30 11 13.5 3 2
1995 MIN 16 45 32 13 10.5 1 0
1996 MIN 16 46 33 13 11.5 4 0
1997 MIN 16 57 45 12 15.5 2 2
1998 MIN 16 41 27 14 10.5 3 1
1999 MIN 16 37 28 9 10.0 4 3
2000 MIN 16 26 25 1 8.0 2 0
2001 SEA 15 34 26 8 11.0 4 1
2002 SEA 12 15 13 2 7.0 0 0
2003 SEA 16 17 12 5 5.5 0 1
Career 219 408 307 101 137.5 26 11

Vikings Records

  • Most Seasons Leading Team In Sacks: 9, 1991, 1993-2000
  • Most Consecutive Seasons Leading Team In Sacks: 8, 1993-2000

After football and Legacy

Randle was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor in 2008.[13] He was eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame starting in 2009, and was elected in his second year of eligibility in 2010.[14] Randle was inducted in Canton, OH on August 7, 2010 alongside Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Floyd Little, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson and Dick LeBeau.[15] He was also inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame during the same year[16] and had his number retired by his former high school team. He currently lives in Medina, Minnesota with his wife and children.[17]


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