Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking by phone with Dallas Cowboys legend Randy White. The Manster is down at the Super Bowl promoting his restaurant, Randy White's Hall Of Fame BBQ, and a collaboration he's doing with Tide detergent. I talked to him about the promotion, and in Part 1 of the interview, we talked about his playing days (including some good stuff on the Flex defense), and the upcoming Super Bowl. In Part 2 (later today) we talked about the current Cowboys.
In Randy's own words, he and Tide (with Acti-Lift formula) have been working on:
"...creating the tastiest, messiest sandwich for the Super Bowl. We worked diligently to create this sandwich; it consists of brisket, Texas toast, your favorite barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, whatever you like on it, with a red wine reduction sauce. You take the red wine, you cook it down into a paste, put some chips from your brisket in there, stir it all up and pour it on the sandwich and you'll have the biggest, tastiest, messiest sandwich that you ever had in your life."
That does sound good. With all that sauce, he's working with Tide to make sure you can clean up your Cowboys jersey after you're done chowing down.
Now on to the Q&A (Part I: College and NFL career)
Blogging The Boys: I read that you actually played fullback your first year at Maryland. Is that true?
Randy White: Yeah, I went both ways, I played fullback and defensive end at Maryland. That's when freshman weren't allowed to play varsity so we had a freshman team and I went both ways, fullback and defensive end.
BTB: What kind of offensive player were you?
RW: All through high school I was a running back, that's why when I went to college, I played fullback. I was a decent running back, but coach Claiborne down there said 'Hey, we think you'd be better playing on the defensive side of the ball', so that's where I ended up playing.
Make the jump...
BTB: When you got drafted to the Cowboys, they moved you to linebacker, that didn't work out well, you had to sit behind Lee Roy Jordan. When they moved you to defensive tackle you immediately blossomed. What were the big differences for you between playing tackle and playing linebacker?
RW: At middle linebacker in the Flex, it kind of went against a lot of your instincts. Having not played linebacker in college, I wasn't real familiar with a lot of the pass coverage, I always felt like I was a beat behind at the middle linebacker spot. Lee Roy Jordan took a lot of time to work with me and teach me that, but it just never was a natural position for me.
Coach Landry called me in and said "What do you think about moving to the defensive line?" And I said 'Coach, I'll play wherever you think I can help this team win'. He moved me into defensive tackle, and 'Bam', it was kind of like someone took handcuffs off me and let me play football, and it became fun again.
BTB: I've read that although Landry's Flex defense was very assignment based, you were actually a player they let freelance some in it.
RW: If you were at the point of attack, the philosophy of the Flex defense was that you had three guys at the point of attack, and each guy had to hold his position. You always had a cutback man and a contain man. So with the knowledge I gained playing middle linebacker of the whole defense, of knowing where everybody had to be, it kind of gave me a lot of freedom playing the defensive tackle spot, and when I could just take off and follow my instincts, I didn't have to play that disciplined part of the Flex defense. It worked.
BTB: What are your memories of the 27-10 Super Bowl win and getting the co-MVP?
RW: That was exciting, winning the World Championship was obviously the highlight of that game. Getting the World Championship ring, the Super Bowl Ring. You know Havery [Martin] and I, a lot of guys could have been chosen as the MVP's of that football game, but Harvery and I were chosen the co-MVP's, and actually that day was my birthday, so that was a pretty special day in my athletic career that I won't ever forget.
BTB: Your nickname was Manster. Did anyone ever call you that on the team, or was that mainly fans and the press?
RW: That was mainly with the fans and the press. I don't have a lot of people call me Manster. But, you know, a lot of people, when you sign autographs, they want you to put Manster on there and different things like that. But half-man, half-monster? (laughs) I don't know.
BTB: What do you see happening in the Super Bowl this Sunday?
RW: I look for a tough competitive game. If Green Bay is going to win this game, Aaron Rodgers is going to have to spread that thing out and throw the football quick because I don't think they'll be able to run the football against the Steelers. If they can put Ben Roethlisberger in second and long, and third and long situations, I think they have a chance of winning the football game. If there's a suspect spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers it would be their offensive line. The Steelers are going to put pressure on Green Bay in every aspect of the game. If Pittsburgh is able to run the ball, if Mendenhall is able to get cranking early, and Ben's got second and manageable, or third and manageable situations, I think it's going to all go in the Pittsburgh Steelers favor. I'm picking Pittsburgh.
Part 2 coming later today.