Randle Showing Human Side

While defensive tackle John Randle showed his caring side at times in private while with the Vikings, fans rarely got to see it. He's a different player on the football field, but Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is letting out the secret of Randle's human side in Seattle.

Homecoming game: One of the best side bars to the Seahawks visiting Minnesota is the return of defensive tackle John Randle to the site of some of his best seasons in the NFL.

He earned his spot in the league, and his reputation as a fearsome pass rusher, while playing with the Vikings.

"He was one of their great players of all time," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said of Randle's relationship to the Vikings. "He's one of the all-time sack leaders in the league since they've been keeping that stat. The remarkable thing is where he came from to where he is. He beat the odds. He's undersized, not a big guy, and he's the poster child for what hard work and just a will to get it done can do for an athlete."

A measure of respect for Randle was his being voted team captain by the Seahawks.

"He's a little wacky, we all know that," Holmgren said. "He has more fun than any 10 players I've ever seen. There really are two people. There's the John Randle football player and there's the John Randle that might come up to my office and we'll talk about something. He'll talk about his family or he'll talk to me about my family. There really are two distinctly different guys and sometimes in this business you get to see that."

While the fans see Randle's on-field fervor to win, the front office saw his willingness to sacrifice personally to help the team. In the off-season, he willingly accepted a salary cut of about 50 percent to help the team sign free agents.

"That blew me away," Holmgren said. "I thought that was a great thing, a great team thing, an unselfish act by a great football player, a Hall of Fame football player. You just don't see it happen that much. Which told me a couple things. He likes being here and he likes playing. And he is the real deal. When he talks about team and talks about those things, that's real, that's honest. You can't say that about everybody."

  • Too little, too late: The NFL announced this week that referee Tom White would be fined $2,600 for blowing a call that helped the Seahawks lose to Baltimore last week.

    White failed to start the clock when it should have been running late in regulation, which allowed the Ravens enough time to move down the field for the game-tying field goal.

    "What it tells me is that everyone's accountable," Holmgren said. "We're accountable, the players are accountable, and the officials are accountable. The league is trying to make sure that it doesn't happen again in a game. It sends a little bit of a message. Honest to goodness, I would just as soon give them the money back and have the call. That would have made me feel better."

    BY THE NUMBERS: 24-24 — the combined record of the Seahawks' final four opponents.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I hope we're peaking at the right time. We're relatively healthy, which is a start. That gives you a chance. Our confidence level is pretty good." — Coach Mike Holmgren.


    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
    The Seahawks have finally figured out some schemes to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, totaling 10 sacks in the past two weeks against the Ravens and Browns.

    They'll need it again this week as they face one of the most dangerous passing combinations in Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper and receiver Randy Moss.

    "Daunte is a big, strong man, and you can think you have him but you don't," coach Mike Holmgren said. "Minnesota's offensive football team, there are some more weapons there."

    Culpepper operates frequently out of the shotgun, giving him some extra time to avoid pressure. And even when pressure arrives, defenders are not always able to bring him down, and he's also gifted with good mobility.

    "You always have to count him as a threat to run the ball," Holmgren said.

    Compounding the problem, of course, is Moss, who mandates double coverage.

    "I know what he's capable of," Holmgren said. "God gave him tremendous, tremendous skills. Now, it's up to us to try to combat that. We have a lot of challenges this week. The No. 1 challenge is dealing with Randy Moss. He has shown the ability to go up and get it; he's tall and he's fast. If I'm a defensive back for the Seahawks this week, I'm gearing up for a real battle."

    The best defense against Moss, Holmgren said, is getting pressure on the quarterback. The second is to make sure enough people are around him when he catches the ball that it's difficult for him to break away and turn a short pass into a long score.

    PERSONNEL/INJURY NOTES:

  • DE Anton Palepoi is going to see more time as Brandon Mitchell heals from a calf injury.

  • QB Matt Hasselbeck looks at a good duel with another top young quarterback in the NFC, Daunte Culpepper.

  • FS Ken Hamlin may face his biggest challenge in trying to provide over-the-top help for the Seahawk cornerbacks against Randy Moss.

  • LB Randall Godfrey missed last week with a bruised sternum, and although he is expected to play, Orlando Huff might see more time than usual as a replacement.




  • Viking Update Top Stories