Eller Gets His Honor

Former Vikings defensive end Carl Eller, a member of the team's 40th anniversary team, will be inducted into the Ring of Honor today. Eller talked about his style of play and the differences between now and his era.

Carl Eller will become the 11th member of the Vikings organization to be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor during halftime of today's game.

Eller, who played for the Vikings from 1964 to '78 and holds the franchise record for sacks with 130 in his career, joins Fran Tarkenton, Alan Page, Jim Marshall, Mick Tingelhoff, Korey Stringer, Jim Finks, Bud Grant, Fred Zamberletti, Paul Krause and Ron Yary in the ring of honor.

"It's a great honor, and I'm going to join a great group of guys, so that gives me great pleasure," Eller said. "It's the kind of thing where after a career like mine and after this much time has passed, it's really fun to be honored."

While the Vikings recognized Eller's career, there are many who believe the defensive end also should be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Eller, however, gave a very roundabout answer when asked about the topic.

"I want to be remembered as an artist who worked really hard at his craft and played the game really well," he said. "When I think about that, I don't know if guys like Rembrandt or Michelangelo or Piccaso worked with the thought that they would be the best at what they did. I don't think when they did their masterpieces that they thought it would be something people would remember years after they were gone. That is how I approached the game.

"The testament to me is that people do remember the way that I played. A lot of people think that I was the best that ever played. I hear that a lot. But people have their own opinion. I feel like I was one of the best players to ever play the position and with that I take satisfaction knowing that when I played I worked really hard at my craft and people enjoyed the way I played.

Asked about the differences between now and when he was playing, Eller said: "I think one of the main differences is, of course, there are more players on a team and that gives them the ability to specialize. They can send in players at different times and different techniques, things like that. Players have an opportunity to work on specialties a lot more. For example, a pass rusher can concentrate on pass rushes because he knows he is going to be in on that situation. That's really different.

"The other thing, too, is I don't know if a lot of people think about it, but the offensive lines certainly are a lot larger. This makes it tougher to really get a formidable pass rush like the way we used to do. We used to really crush the line and move the entire line back. These guys are a lot bigger. They don't move them as much."

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