This Time, Stringer Leaves White, Packers Feeling Queasy
Sep. 23, 1996
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) _ Korey Stringer spent half a game hunched over on the bench vomiting the first time he played against Reggie White. This time, Stringer left White and the Green Bay Packers feeling queasy.
The Minnesota Vikings' huge right tackle neutralized the NFL's career sack leader in Sunday's unexpected 30-21 victory over the highly regarded Packers.
White only pressured Warren Moon once, and, with White on the sidelines for a breather, Stringer flattened a linebacker to spring Robert Smith for the go-ahead 37-yard touchdown.
``Korey had a tremendous game, and I believe everybody knows the caliber of player 92 (White) is,'' offensive line coach Keith Rowen said Monday. ``But the bottom line is Korey had a hell of a game.''
Minnesota's second selection in the first round of the 1995 draft, Stringer was a rookie making his seventh NFL start when the Vikings traveled to Lambeau Field last season. Although he held his own against White that day, White knocked Stringer out during the second quarter when he delivered what Vikings coach Dennis Green called ``a double shot to the solar plexus.''
``Korey's hands were high, and Reggie's hands came in low,'' Green said.
Stringer spent the rest of the game getting sick on the sidelines while White tormented Moon in the second half of Green Bay's 31-21 victory.
``It got ugly,'' Rowen said.
Stringer didn't fully recover for a week, but he went on to establish himself as one of the best young linemen in the NFL, a point he emphasized with Sunday's performance against White.
``I'm so much more confident in myself and comfortable with what I'm doing,'' Stringer said. ``Last year I was hesitant and unsure of myself. This year I know what they expect of me.''
The Vikings expect a lot.
At 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds, Stringer was considered a potential top-10 pick when he decided to leave Ohio State after his junior season. But his stock fell because of his potential for weight problems and a predraft workout that ended almost as soon as it began when Stringer showed up late and then pulled a hamstring.
Minnesota still used the 24th overall pick on Stringer, making him the third offensive lineman drafted behind Tony Boselli (second overall to Jacksonville) and Reuben Brown (14th, Buffalo). Ohio State coach John Cooper said on draft day that the Vikings got a steal, and he appears to have been right.
Rowen said Stringer should be considered for the Pro Bowl if he continues playing as well as he has during Minnesota's 4-0 start.
``In terms of dominating the point of attack, he has tremendous power,'' Rowen said. ``Korey's in a very, very, very high level in terms of the ability to dominate, particularly in the running game.''
Not only does Stringer have the size to dominate defensive linemen, he also is an emotional player, somewhat of a surprise considering his docile demeanor off the field. During the pregame introductions of Minnesota's offense, Stringer danced onto the field pumping his arms and legs wildly.
``Something the public does not see: He is one of the toughest, meanest players I've been around on game day,'' Rowen said. ``If you ever talk to him, like right now, you'd say, `Nice guy.'''