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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Q&A with former Rams DE Deacon Jones

    By Dan Arkush
    Jan. 27, 2005

    Widely considered one of the most dominating defensive
    linemen in NFL history, David "Deacon" Jones reached
    his peak as a member of the Los Angeles Rams' famed
    "Fearsome Foursome" along with fellow Hall of Famer
    Merlin Olsen, Roosevelt Grier and Lamar Lundy.

    The 6-5, 260-pound Jones is credited with adding the
    term "sack" to the NFL lexicon. A nine-time Pro
    Bowler, including seven straight berths with the Rams
    from 1964 to 1970, Jones unofficially recorded a
    team-best 159 sacks with the Rams and 173 for his
    career. He had seven seasons with double-digit sacks,
    including an unofficial league-record 26 in 1967 (the
    NFL began keeping sacks as an official statistic in
    1982), and also became the first defensive lineman to
    record 100 solo tackles in a single season.

    Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980,
    Jones played with the Rams from 1961 to '71 and then
    with the Chargers in 1972-73 and Redskins in 1974. He
    was a unanimous All-Pro selection five consecutive
    years and was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary
    team in '94.

    PFW: (Longtime L.A. football writer) Bob Oates told me
    you came up with your own nickname. How did you settle
    on the name 'Deacon'?

    Jones: Well, you know the business and what makes it
    tick. I fell in love with football as a little kid,
    and it was all I ever wanted to do my entire life. I
    wanted to be the best, but I had a difficult road to
    hoe. In 1961 when I came into the league, there were
    only a few positions black players could even qualify
    for. There were a lot of obstacles, but I was born
    with a little touch of publicity in me, and a
    businessman I met suggested to me that I needed a
    nickname. I knew he was right when I looked in the
    L.A. phone book and saw a million guys named David
    Jones. But then one day I just happened to be looking
    at the Rams' press guide and saw the name 'Deacon' Dan
    Towler, who happened to be one helluva fullback. The
    name 'Deacon' just clicked. I just started signing
    everything with that name, and you guys (the media)
    did the rest.

    PFW: Talk about how 'The Fearsome Foursome' came
    together?

    Jones: When I came to the Rams, the team had a lot of
    problems. Early on we were getting our brains beaten
    in. Luckily for me, one of the coaches (Harland Svare)
    wanted to build a defensive line. Lamar Lundy was
    already there, and I was the second guy. Then in 1962
    the Rams made one of their best draft picks ever when
    they selected Merlin (Olsen). He was this smart, white
    Phi Beta Kappa guy, but for some reason, he and I hit
    it off. We got over the black-and-white hurdle real
    quickly. We didn't know what the hell it was, but we
    brought something different to the table. We had a
    connection. And then in '63, Rosey (Roosevelt Grier)
    came in a trade. We worked like crazy and played hurt
    and just kept getting better. In 1966 it all really
    came together under George Allen. In '67, I killed the
    league! Twenty-six sacks against double and triple
    coverage! We were dominant. We had great confidence. I
    came into the league overconfident and never had a
    problem speaking my mind, which would piss off the
    other three guys at times. But we knew we were better
    than anybody else. We started singing and dancing on
    TV, and the "Fearsome Foursome" became a myth.

    PFW: Do you remain close with the other members of
    that line?

    Jones: Oh yeah. We still get together semi-regularly.

    PFW: Talk about the NFL game today.

    Jones: You know, I told you football is in my blood,
    but I would have been a terrible coach because I don't
    see today's players having the same kind of dedication
    and work ethic that I had to reach another level and
    play team football. Free agency killed that kind of
    feeling in all sports, I think. And look what they've
    done with the rules, taking the punishment away from
    quarterbacks so they can put up bigger numbers. I hate
    that! It should be 11-on-11.

    PFW: Did you know Reggie White, and what did you think
    of him as a player?

    Jones: I knew Reggie quite well. We had hundreds of
    conversations. I just saw him last August at the Bucs'
    training camp. Reggie always understood what the game
    was all about. He was a fantastic player. My thing was
    speed, quickness and strength. He was the reverse of
    that. He was the strongest lineman, pound for pound,
    that I've ever seen. He will be best-remembered for
    his leadership qualities. I took violence onto the
    football field. I wasn't out there to pray with you; I
    was more concerned with breaking your legs. Reggie was
    just the opposite, and I admired him for it. He was
    always consistent.

    PFW: What are you doing with your life these days?

    Jones: I'm winding down, enjoying retirement. I do a
    lot of charity work, make a lot of speeches. I've been
    with the troops in Iraq, and I was in Baghdad and
    Kuwait. And my golf game is getting better.

    PFW: When you slice a drive into the woods, do you get
    as angry at your driver as you used to get with
    opposing offensive linemen?

    Jones: Nah, there's no way I'm going anywhere in any
    woods! You don't know what's in there. I just drop
    another ball.

    PFW: Talk about the other people in your life that
    influenced you the most.

    Jones: I'd have to start with my father. He's from a
    different period in our society. He had two other boys
    and five daughters, and he demanded that all three of
    his boys play football. He was the only one who
    believed that I could make it in the pros. He used to
    watch me practice at 5:00 in the morning when I was
    doing my running when nobody else did. He supported
    the hell out of me. With the Rams, former
    MLB-turned-coach Don Paul was a big inspiration. He
    switched me from offensive tackle and saw the
    defensive killer in me. He really molded me into a
    defensive player. And last but not least, I'd have to
    say George Allen. He's a guy who I had total respect
    for. When I went to the Bucs' camp last summer, it was
    to see his son, Bruce. His daughter named one of their
    kids after me. George and I stuck by each other. I'll
    never forget the guy. My father, Don Paul and George
    Allen. They were the Big Three.


  2. #2
    AugustaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Q&A with former Rams DE Deacon Jones

    I wish he would have asked Deacon if he had any thoughts on the Kyle Turley "Thang". I wonder what the Sack Deacon would have said?

    Deacon was a man among boys in the NFL.

  3. #3
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Q&A with former Rams DE Deacon Jones

    The 6-5, 260-pound Jones is credited with adding the
    term "sack" to the NFL lexicon..
    :redface: sack...Sack....SACK!!!

    We worked like crazy and played hurt
    and just kept getting better. In 1966 it all really
    came together under George Allen. In '67, I killed the
    league! Twenty-six sacks against double and triple
    coverage! We were dominant. We had great confidence. I
    came into the league overconfident and never had a
    problem speaking my mind, which would piss off the
    other three guys at times. But we knew we were better
    than anybody else. We started singing and dancing on
    TV, and the "Fearsome Foursome" became a myth.
    I would have loved to have seen the Fearsome Foursome play.

    Jones: You know, I told you football is in my blood,
    but I would have been a terrible coach because I don't
    see today's players having the same kind of dedication
    and work ethic that I had to reach another level and
    play team football. Free agency killed that kind of
    feeling in all sports, I think. And look what they've
    done with the rules, taking the punishment away from
    quarterbacks so they can put up bigger numbers. I hate
    that! It should be 11-on-11.
    I wonder about free agency myself. The game has not been the same since free agency was created.

    And the rules keep coming. It seems they try to keep some of the QBs safe. The Rams defense has been penalized many times when they get to the other teams QB. It must be frustrating for them.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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