Scottie Graham, a former running back in the NFL and Director of Player Services and Engagement for NFL PLAYERS, plays the role of reporter as he interviews his former teammate John Randle. Randle, a seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Scottie Graham: When you first found out you were elected to the Hall of Fame, where were you and what was your reaction?
John Randle: I was actually in my office. I couldn’t bear to watch it, so my wife was watching … and I heard her scream. I knew right then that I was in.
SG: You know, this is so big to be a first-time Hall of Famer when you have guys like Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Chris Doleman and many others still waiting to get in.
JR: I’ve thought about it. There are guys like Charles Haley with five Super Bowl rings. [Ed] “Too-Tall” Jones, Richard Dent. I was thinking that in 10 years it would be my chance. I’ve been living a life I enjoy. I hang out guys who aren’t players and go around the country golfing.
When I was first trying to make it in the NFL, I had a feeling that if I didn’t try, I’d regret it the rest of my life. What was so unusual about it, Scottie, is they told me I’d be a great offensive lineman. I told them I wanted to do defense, and I had teams telling me there was no way possible. I told them it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I came up to Minnesota, looked at the rosters and said to myself, “I know I can make that team.”
SG: I’m going to rewind that a bit. You said you play golf now? You didn’t golf when we played together.
JR: I couldn’t hit a ball back then to save my life! But now, well, I shot 78 the other day. I’ve been playing about four years now and usually hit in the low 80s. It’s like football. I just love it. I can play 18, go home, run some errands, do some phone conferences and go back to the driving range. I’m just working on my technique.
SG: You were one of the first guys I met in the locker room. What made you be open to approaching me as a rookie?
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