Alan Page Minnesota Vikings & Chicago Bears
"I’ve got a job to do and my job is not to sit back and wait and react to what the offense does. My job is to go after them. This has been my philosophy. A defensive player should think of himself as an aggressor, not as a defender.”
Alan Page, a consensus All-America at Notre Dame in 1966, was the Minnesota Vikings' second pick in the first round of the first combined AFL-NFL draft in 1967. Although he had played defensive end in college, he was moved to defensive tackle with the Vikings.
Page won the starting defensive right tackle job in the fourth game of his rookie season and he remained a starter for the rest of his career. Alan excelled with the Vikings for 11 seasons and six games into the 1978 campaign, when he was waived. The Chicago Bears quickly signed him and he moved into the starting lineup without missing a game.
Page wound up his career in 1981 after playing 238 games, all but three of them as a starter. Included were 16 NFL/NFC playoff games and Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, and XI.
During Page's tenure, the Vikings won four of the five NFL/NFC title games in which they played. Page, who in 1971 was named the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player, was only the second defensive player to be accorded such an honor. He was also named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1971 and 1973. Page earned All-Pro honors six times, and was named second-team all-league three additional times. Voted to nine straight Pro Bowls, Page was named to an all-conference team ten times.
Intelligent and hardworking with amazing speed and quickness, Page accumulated some imposing career statistics. He recovered 23 opponents’ fumbles, and unofficial figures show that he also blocked 28 kicks and recorded 173 sacks. Rather than wait for the ball carrier, he sought him out. “A defensive player should think of himself more as an aggressor, not as a defender,” he explained. After retiring from pro football, Page became a lawyer and was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court.