Foreman Excited for Ring, Anticipates Season

Former Vikings running back Chuck Foreman talked about his appreciation for being selected as the franchise's next inductee into the Ring of Honor, and Mewelde Moore discussed what he has seen of Foreman on film. Foreman also offered his thoughts on this year's team and their keys to a successful season.

Chuck Foreman hasn't suited up in purple for nearly 30 years. But thanks to the Vikings, the former multi-dimensional running back has one more spin left in him – straight to the franchise's Ring of Honor.

The Vikings announced at the start of their 2007 training camp that Foreman will be the 16th person and second running back inducted into the Ring of Honor, during halftime of the Green Bay game at the Metrodome on Sept. 30.

On hand for the announcement, Foreman, who still resides in the Twin Cities, seemed deeply touched by the honor.

"I am pretty much speechless and really don't have a word to describe how I am feeling right now, but I am certainly proud to be part of the Ring of Honor with so many great football players and most of all, so many great men," said Foreman, the Vikings' top draft pick in 1973 (12th overall) out of the University of Miami.

The 1973 NFC Rookie of the Year and five-time Pro Bowl participant thanked the Wilf family for the honor and expressed gratitude for the support of his family, teammates, former head coach Bud Grant, longtime trainer Fred Zamberletti and the late Buster Mertes, an assistant coach for many years with the Vikings.

Foreman also had a special thank you for all Vikings fans.

"Because I don't think without them I don't think any of us would be here or have jobs or been able to be a part of such a wonderful event like pro sports and football here in Minnesota," he said.

Foreman admitted he was surprised when informed last week that he would be the latest Ring of Honor inductee.

"I was in a state of shock, to be honest with you," he said. "I was overwhelmed and like I said, lost for words. … To me, I have had a lot of honors and things like that for my football abilities, but I can guarantee that nothing matches this. It's truly a great privilege for me."

During his seven-season stint (1973-79) in Minnesota, the Vikings compiled a 69-31-2 regular-season record and played in three Super Bowls. Foreman established numerous team marks, including rushing yards in a game (200 versus Philadelphia in 1976), rushing touchdowns in a career (52, tied with Bill Brown), touchdowns in a season (22 in 1975), consecutive seasons leading the Vikings in touchdowns (four) and seasons leading the club in rushing (six).

Known for a rare combination of power running and graceful spin moves to avoid defenders, Foreman is second behind Robert Smith on the Vikings' all-time rushing list with 5,879 yards. He was the first Minnesota back to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season (1,070 in 1975) and he topped the 1,000-yard barrier three times for the Vikings when the NFL played a 14-game regular season.

But Foreman, who amassed 17 100-yard rushing games, did more than carry the ball. He flourished in the short-passing attack, the hallmark of today's West Coast Offense, employed by former offensive coordinator and fellow Ring of Honor inductee Jerry Burns. Four times in his career, Foreman caught more than 50 passes in a season, including a then-astronomical (for a running back) 73 receptions in 1975. Number 44 finished his Vikings career with 336 receptions and 23 touchdown catches.

"When he played, he played all out," said current Vikings running back Mewelde Moore, who has shown flashes of the multi-dimensional ability that was Foreman's trademark. "He's a Hall of Fame-caliber guy. He did everything. When I've seen film of him, he did everything with a little extra. He had an extra explosion. It's an honor to know him, and it's an honor to be able to talk to him and for him to give me advice."

When discussing the current state of the Vikings, Foreman is optimistic.

"The defense is intact, and I think that is what wins championships," he said. "Of course, they have done some things. They have a lot of young players at wide receiver especially that we don't know of, but they have a great opportunity to let us know who they are. … I don't think there was a quarterback in the college ranks that came out last year that had the physical talent of the guy that we have today (Tarvaris Jackson).

"We have a running back and a guy that can go all the way any time in (Adrian) Peterson, and don't forget you have a 1,200-yard rusher in Chester Taylor. You've got all the makings of a team that can go on and get us to the playoffs and do some great things here. You've just got to be patient. As long as the offensive line starts off well and gives us what they need to give us in the beginning, I think the Vikings have a good chance to do some good things this year."

As for Peterson's current holdout, Foreman said it's "important" for the top pick to be in camp but added, "As a runner, you can either do it or you can't. The main thing he needs to do right now is make sure he comes in here with a contract that is going to make him happy because you don't want an unhappy guy here."

Foreman, who finished his career in 1980 with New England, said being surrounded by family and friends on his induction into the Ring of Honor will make him happiest.

"The fact that for once I will be (able) to have all the people that I care about and that care about me right there with me at one particular time and one particular moment, to be able to share that with them is going to be exciting for me."

Vikings owner/chairman Zygi Wilf heartily endorsed the addition of Foreman to the Ring of Honor.

"Even as a Giants fan following his career, he was the guy who really pushed that Vikings offense on the ground," Wilf said. "He deserved it, and I'm happy for him and for his family. I'm very proud to be part of a club to have guys like Foreman and the other vets who make up the Ring of Honor."

Other members of the Ring of Honor are: Fran Tarkenton, Alan Page, Jim Finks, Bud Grant, Paul Krause, Fred Zamberletti, Jim Marshall, Ron Yary, Korey Stringer, Mick Tingelhoff, Carl Eller, Cris Carter, Bill Brown, Jerry Burns and Randall McDaniel.

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