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Deacon Jones - 'Secretary Of Defense'

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  • Deacon Jones - 'Secretary Of Defense'

    Khalil Garriott

    Deacon Jones - 'Secretary Of Defense' Making A Difference

    David "Deacon" Jones is a living legend in every sense of the term.

    Having already become a gridiron great on the football field, Jones has shifted his focus to giving back to young people. He is president and CEO of the Deacon Jones Foundation (, which "is committed to developing young, educated, talented, intelligent, accomplished people who understand their commitment to the inner-city communities from which they come, and have the tools and the desire to return," according to the foundation's Web site.

    Jones was truly a pioneer during his time, using his speed and toughness to harass quarterbacks from his defensive end position. He revolutionized that position, so much so that he's credited with the term "sack" that today defines the success of defensive linemen. His personal accolades and honors are seemingly never-ending, but perhaps it's his absence in only five games over a 14-year NFL career that best represents how Jones played the game.

    "I've had a heck of a life," Jones said, laughing.

    While he could easily sit back and rest on the laurels he achieved as one of the best defensive ends of all-time, Jones has done the opposite since retiring from football. By using his personal story as a man who overcame hardships while living in a low-income area to become a Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jones is an inspiration to those less fortunate.

    "Coming from a poor, inner-city neighborhood myself, I have an intimate knowledge of all of the problems people face there," Jones said on his Web site. "When kids from the ghetto enter college and the workplace, they don't know a thing about what they hear. And they are never told exactly what their commitment to their own neighborhoods must be."

    Now approaching age 69, Jones has retired—in a sense. He, of course, doesn't put on the pads and helmet anymore, but hasn't shown many signs of slowing down with his foundation and work in the community.

    "I retired two years ago from a lot of active stuff but I'm running my foundation and doing a lot of charity work," he said. "I have the Deacon Jones Foundation which is the inner-city scholarship program I run. I have different events all year, so I work those, then I help a lot of the other guys in the league who have programs. I still do some public appearances, but not too many anymore," he continued.

    Jones, an outspoken and incomparable leader for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins, had about as distinguished a career as a player can have. During his best years with the Rams, he garnered a couple nicknames that still stick to this day. Known as the "Secretary of Defense" and one-fourth of the "Fearsome Foursome," Jones was larger than life in many ways. His greatness was perhaps best summed up when Sports Illustrated named him the "Defensive End of the Century" in 1999.

    Having been involved in football for so many years now, Jones' experience and knowledge is hard to match. If a former NFL player from his era didn't compete with or against Jones, he's likely met him somewhere along the line.

    "I've been around a long time … I've been through all 41 Super Bowls and I've worked with NFL PLAYERS properties through all that time," Jones said while attending the NFL PLAYERS VIP Party in Miami.

    "NFL PLAYERS is one of those outfits that I do a lot of work with," he said while mingling with other retired and current players. "I always like to come to their events and the people that I've met here I've known for a lot of years."

    For Jones, what was the highlight of reuniting with fellow NFL legends?

    "I enjoy seeing all the guys," Jones said while scanning the room for his friends and football brethren. "You come to these kinds of things, and guys you haven't seen in two or three years show up at one time or another. I always look forward to seeing what new person I'm going to see that I haven't seen in 25 or 30 years," Jones added.

    Remembered for his quick moves and tenacity as an imposing defensive end, Jones was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time Pro Bowl selection. As can be expected of a 14th-round draft pick, his learning curve was steep when the Rams drafted him in 1961. But a fast adaptability coupled with a great desire to excel helped make the "Deacon of Defense" one of the game's immortals.

    The lone missing accomplishment on Jones' résumé is an appearance in a Super Bowl. And while that doesn't define him, the Hall of Famer enjoyed watching the Indianapolis Colts—the team he picked to win because they have "too much offense"—prevail in Super Bowl XLI.

    "Tony Dungy has done a heck of a job, and Lovie Smith (has) too," said Jones, who watched the game at home in the comfort of his living room. Having a deserved break from his travels and community appearances, Jones said he was happy to "sit on my big couch and watch the game in peace and contentment."

    And with that, Jones smiled, paused briefly, and reflected on a legendary career and the next challenge he wants to sac

  • #2
    Re: Deacon Jones - 'Secretary Of Defense'

    Another class act from the Rams.


    • #3
      Re: Deacon Jones - 'Secretary Of Defense'

      'Class act' is correct, Keenum. :r

      I appreciate you posting that remark on our great Deacon Jones, especially being a young Ram (if your age indicated is correct). Nice on your part.


      • #4
        Re: Deacon Jones - 'Secretary Of Defense'

        Originally posted by RealRam View Post
        'Class act' is correct, Keenum. :r

        I appreciate you posting that remark on our great Deacon Jones, especially being a young Ram (if your age indicated is correct). Nice on your part.

        Thanks for the comments. And yes, I am just 18. However, I have studied my history of the Rams, and I hope to continue learning more and more about the franchise and the great players of the past!


        Related Topics


        • RamDez
          Deacon Jones rips St. Louis Rams for not retiring his No. 75
          by RamDez
          By Bill Coats
          St. Louis Post-Dispatch
          In an interview with Jerry Crowe of the Los Angeles Times, Deacon Jones says the fact that his uniform No. 75 has not been retired by the Rams is “asinine.”
          Jones, never one to massage his words, had plenty else to say. Here’s the full story:
          Deacon Jones attacks interviews the way he used to stalk quarterbacks — with abandon, no holds barred.
          Outspoken, opinionated and unwary of offending, the Hall of Famer credited with giving a name to one of football’s signature defensive plays seems to hold cliches and rote answers in the same regard he once did his prey — which is to say, very little.
          Jones’ forte, of course, was sacking quarterbacks, a term he coined to give cachet to the art of tackling passers.
          “You take all the offensive linemen and put them in a burlap bag, and then you take a baseball bat and beat on the bag,” Jones says, explaining the term. “You’re sacking them, you’re bagging them. And that’s what you’re doing with a quarterback.”
          Jones, 70, pulls forward in his chair as he speaks, voice booming to a near-shout as he makes his points. Cigarette in hand, the greatest defensive end in the history of the Los Angeles Rams is seated in the living room of the spacious home he shares with wife Elizabeth in a gated community in Anaheim Hills.
          Of his legendary aversion to opposing quarterbacks, he notes, “You kill the head of the snake, the body dies. He is the rallying point, so you’ve got to create that daily hate” for the quarterback.
          Pro football may never have seen a more ferocious pass rusher than David “Deacon” Jones, a 14th-round pick who turned out to be one of the greatest steals in NFL draft history.
          Relying on footwork, speed and a devastating set of flying hands — his 1996 biography, “Headslap,” was named after his since-banned signature move — Jones struck fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks for 14 seasons with the Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins from 1961 to 1974. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
          “Unstoppable as a flood, as elusive as a fly in a hot room,” Jim Murray wrote of Jones, who nicknamed himself Deacon after a chance meeting with a Disney executive convinced him that he needed a more distinctive moniker to stand out in a crowd.
          Said Merlin Olsen of his former teammate: “There has never been a better football player than Deacon Jones.”
          Jones doesn’t argue.
          “I came as close to perfection,” the former “Secretary of Defense” says, “as you can possibly get.”
          Except he never won a ring.
          “I did it all but one thing in my football career,” he says, “and that was, win that damn championship. Everything else, I double-timed; it wasn’t even close, OK? But within that structure didn’t come a championship, and I live with that every day. I’ve been in the Hall of Fame [nearly]...
          -04-21-2009, 12:23 PM
        • RamWraith
          Where Are They Now--Mike Jones
          by RamWraith
          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          Mike Jones made the biggest tackle in St. Louis Rams’ history. Now, he is grooming the next generation of game-saving tacklers at Hazelwood East. Every day he shows the young high schoolers how to wrap up as he did against Tennessee receiver Kevin Dyson in Super Bowl XXXIV and many other times in his career.

          Jones retired after a stint with Pittsburgh in 2002. After attempting to catch on with a few more teams, the former Missouri Tiger moved on to other endeavors. He played 13 seasons in the NFL with Oakland, St. Louis and the Steelers. As a sort of sports hero in Missouri, Jones carries instant credibility anywhere he goes.

          From his four-year (1987-1991) career at Missouri to his three years with the Rams, Jones is known across the state for a variety of reasons.

          None of those reasons, though, is as big as what has come to be known simply as “The Tackle.” With the Rams leading 23-16 and the Titans driving for the tie, Jones was left with the unenviable task of stopping one of the most difficult patterns in football.

          Dyson lined up wide to the right and when quarterback Steve McNair took the snap, Dyson burst off the line with a quick slant across the middle of the field. Jones read the play and reacted calmly, dashing toward Dyson from the right, wrapping him up around the waist and working down to the legs.

          Many times, a receiver can break a tackle because of the momentum from the route, but not Dyson, not against Jones, not on that day. Part by part, Dyson fell to the ground. He fell a yard short, the Rams became Super Bowl champions and Jones became a hero.

          Pictures of the play with the phrase “The Tackle” can be found in gas stations, homes or restaurants anywhere in the state. Jones even has fans in Chiefs’ country, for he graduated from Kansas City’s Southwest High.

          Jones said he doesn’t mind being known for making the big play; after all, it beats the alternative.

          “I have people ask me that all the time, but the way I look at it, it could have been worse,” Jones said. “I could have been the guy that missed the tackle. It’s funny because I have people come up and thank me for making the tackle. They thank me for doing something I was supposed to do.”

          With Jones’ extensive experience in the game, it made perfect sense for him to get in to coaching. Jones turned down offers to coach in NFL Europe and a few other small schools before staying in St. Louis at Hazelwood East with his wife and kids. After all, it was the Gateway City where he became a household name.

          Jones’ activities off the field, though, are as big a part of him as his desire to be on it. He runs free football clinics for children in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia and has started the Michael Jones Foundation. He teams up with other charities to have basketball games that...
          -11-01-2004, 03:57 AM
        • ramsanddodgers
          Deacon Jones dead at age 74
          by ramsanddodgers
          Hall of Fame DE Deacon Jones dead at 74
          Associated PressBy The Associated Press | Associated Press – 17 mins ago

          David "Deacon" Jones, a Hall of Fame defensive end credited with terming the word sack for how he knocked down quarterbacks, has died. He was 74.

          The Washington Redskins said Monday night that Jones died of natural causes at his home in Southern California.

          "Deacon Jones was one of the greatest players in NFL history. Off the field, he was a true giant," said Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, whose father, George, coached Jones with the Los Angeles Rams. "His passion and spirit will continue to inspire those who knew him. He was cherished member of the Allen family and I will always consider him my big brother."

          Jones was the leader of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome unit from 1961-71 and then played for San Diego for two seasons before finishing his career with the Redskins in 1974. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and made the league's 75th anniversary all-time squad.

          Because sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982, Jones' total is uncertain. His impact as a premier pass rusher and team leader is not.

          Jones made the Pro Bowl every year from 1964-70 and played in eight overall. He combined with fellow Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier and Lamar Landry on the defensive line that, at times, was unblockable.

          George Allen, who coached the Fearsome Foursome, called Jones the "greatest defensive end of modern football." The Allen family had Jones present George Allen for his Hall of Fame induction in 2002.

          The Rams' stats show Jones with 159 1-2 sacks for them and 173 1-2 for his career — all unofficial, of course. Jones also was one of the most durable players, missing just five games in his 14 pro seasons.

          A 14th-round draft pick in 1961 out of Mississippi Valley State, which later produced Jerry Rice, Jones was the first defensive lineman with 100 solo tackles, reaching that mark in 1967.

          Most recently, he was the CEO of his own foundation, which he began in 1997. He also made several trips to visit troops on active duty in the Middle East.
          -06-03-2013, 10:58 PM
        • MauiRam
          Barrett Jones healthy and ready to compete
          by MauiRam
          By Nick Wagoner

          EARTH CITY, Mo. -- As fourth round picks go, St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Barrett Jones brought with him one of the most impressive college résumés you're ever going to find.

          In a decorated collegiate career at Alabama, Jones was an integral part of three national title teams and won nearly every major award a lineman can take home, including the Outland and Rimington trophies. Along with that, he also carried an inherent amount of expectations.

          So when Jones' rookie season amounted to little more than a redshirt year as he recovered from foot surgery, the adjustment was a big one.

          "It was frustrating but it was also a learning experience," Jones said. "Last year was great from the standpoint of I grew a lot, not only as a player but also as a person. It’s tough when you kind of go from the top of the totem pole in college and then you go into the bottom in the NFL and you have to carry pads and things like that."

          As it turned out, carrying pads was about the extent of Jones' on-field activities in 2013. Before arriving in St. Louis, he suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot in the SEC championship game during his senior year and played through the injury in the BCS title game. He had surgery soon after the season but needed additional cleanup work before he could even get going with the Rams.

          Jones went five months without being able to run, which severely limited his ability to get in shape and go through a normal workout routine. Jones lost muscle, gained the wrong kinds of weight and was essentially cut off from doing any sort of workouts involving his lower body.

          The Rams drafted Jones knowing full well that his rehab would take some time and were well-prepared to be patient with him in his rookie season. He was inactive the first 13 games of the season and only made sporadic appearances on special teams in the final three games after injuries to other linemen left Jones as one of few options remaining on the roster.

          While Jones was an active participant in meeting rooms, he simply hadn't had enough opportunities to translate those lessons to the field. Believing that Jones didn't have enough repetitions and that he wasn't prepared to handle the physical nature of the league, the Rams resisted the urge to insert Jones into the lineup before he was ready.

          It was an assessment Jones understood.

          "I didn’t have any problem memorizing what to do but there’s just a certain amount of times you have to see something in person to be able to do it in football," Jones said. "It’s a totally different view watching it on film and seeing it and making the calls than it is from down on the ground where it’s not as easy to see what’s going on and it’s all happening way faster.

          "It’s got to become instinct. When you see something happen,...
          -06-08-2014, 12:58 PM
        • AlphaRam
          Deacon Jones Retirement Print
          by AlphaRam
          For those who could not attend the game, here is a picture of the print that was handed out at the game.

          -09-29-2009, 05:59 PM