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  • An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

    An Interview with Deacon Jones
    Tue. Sept. 22, 2009

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    After a long fight to get him to open up a little bit, I had the good fortune of sitting down recently and having a long conversation with Hall of Fame Ram Deacon Jones.

    Of course, Iím kidding about getting him to open up. Hereís the tranScript from that interview as we head toward a very special week for Jones.

    The Rams will retire his No. 75 on Sunday in a pre-game ceremony.

    NW: What was your first reaction when you first found out the Rams were going to retire your number?

    DJ: That was the day I got out of the hospital from two major surgeries and I was feeling really (awful) that day. That really lifted my spirits. I have got to admit. It was the last thing on my mind was that information. I was sitting in the living room and I was really sick and really hurting and I got the call and it really lifted my spirits. I had a much better day. I was totally surprised. They caught me off guard, thereís no doubt about it. It wasnít what I had on my mind. I was so delighted and happy. My whole family is.

    NW: So the timing couldnít have been better?

    DJ: I have been waiting on it and they picked the right time to call me because thatís when I needed it. It frightened me. They say these things happen for a reason, that seemed like it was just perfect. It didnít matter that it was 35 years it just mattered that it happened and it happened at a good time.

    NW: Youíve been honored in many ways, what do you think will be going through your mind when you see that No. 75 raised to the rafters?

    DJ: Thatís always difficult to deal with. Iím a highly emotional person and I appreciate these things. I always did and I worked my ass off to try to get them. I will be a happy man, I know that. It will be a day to remember. It will be nice.

    NW: What are you up to these days?

    DJ: I havenít been doing much. When I hit 65, I retired man. I just do what I want to do and when the best opportunity comes along, I handle it. Until I got sick, I do my foundation work and working with kids is always fun. You do those things and try to pick and choose and pick the best thing you can get the most out of.

    NW: How are you feeling now?

    DJ: My health is real good. I caught the thing very early and I had them fixed. I am just recuperating now and working out every morning. I have been doing that the last six weeks. I feel a lot better. Iím not quite there yet but Iím getting there.

    NW: How close do you still follow football? Is it still a big part of your life?

    DJ: Oh yeah. I was born to do that. That will always be a part of my life. I love watching the game, I love watching it being played properly. I am still (complaining) and moaning about the rule changes and giving the quarterbacks all the advantages. I dislike that and I dislike the rules being changed. The game is being played a little softer. I sit here and gripe about that every Sunday.

    NW: Tell me about the origin of your signature move, the head slap?

    DJ: It was a move they couldnít block. It was as simple as that. If you had quick hands and a feel for pass rushing, you have got to be able to get off blocks and react. When I came into the league in 1961, in 1962 Merlin Olsen came along, my game and Rosey and Lamar Lundy was already there. When we got together we seemed to have been one of those blessed groups. We knew the direction we wanted to go in and we know the talent we had there. It was a joy going with those guys. It takes four men to rush the passer. You canít do it by yourself and I was just blessed to have three other guys that were just fantastic. I owe everything to them. We grew together as a unit and out of things like that comes working on different moves and you find things in practice. I did not invent the head slap but Rembrandt didnít invent painting either. I perfected it. I had those quick hands and quick feet. I had that knack to get off a block real quick and that usage of my hands came into play. As I perfected and grew with that move beating on dummies, I just transferred that to the regular people.

    NW: Not many athletes can say they have been the direct reason a sport has had to change its rules. You are one of them.

    DJ: Who else can say that?

    NW: Well, for example Major League Baseball lowered the mound after Bob Gibson had a 1.12 ERA in 1968.

    DJ: Yeah, me and Bob Gibson were a couple of bad (men).

    NW: How about coining the term sack, where did that idea come from?

    DJ: Football when I came into the game, linemen were last on the totem pole and there was a unique reason for that. There was no way at the time to identify what was good. People like you would write that Deacon Jones tackled the quarterback. There was no way of determining or naming what we did so we had to have a word that describes what we did so it would fit into a headline. When I use the term sack, it reminds me of putting all the offensive linemen in a big bag and taking a baseball bat and beating on the bag. I just threw it out there and the press did the rest.

    NW: So you wanted to find a way to qualify what makes a good defensive lineman?

    DJ: It was coming up with something to make us some more money.

    NW: You were never afraid to open your mouth to make a point, were you?

    DJ: Absolutely. My first contract with the Rams was $7500. There was no great standout pass rusher before that. There were great football players but they were quiet. We needed somebody with a loud mouth, somebody to step forward and take a leadership role. I happened to be with three other guys who fit that package at the time and wanted to grow as a unit. I was that big mouth guy. Thatís what Olsen used to call me all the time. I always used to tell those guys if you donít like it, come and do something about it. I didnít think anybody in that game could beat the four of us. You just throw things out there and hope something sticks. We needed to move. Our game was stagnating. It was just part of the group so we had to stand up and show we can control the game. A defensive line can control the game if you have got four guys out there who really want it, you can stop these quarterbacks even under the lousy rules theyíve got now. If youíve got four guys who will give it all up and go after the quarterback the way you should.

    NW: Physically, you clearly were able to dominate but there was more to your success than that, wasnít there?

    DJ: Absolutely. I think my hands set me apart from anybody in history. I could use my hands and I didnít just use them to strike a blow, I used them to get off a block and then when I got off a block, I was usually in the right position to pressure the quarterback or tackle him. Thatís what set me a part. There are a lot of guys out there with speed. But speed and quickness and a knowledge of how you pass rush takes a lot of work. I put in a lot of hours perfecting the way you rush the passer, singularly and doing different things with Merlin. Youíve got to have two good players with the same thing in mind. The word sack only helps identify how many of these things you got throughout the course of the year but it only represents one play. The word should be pressure because thatís what the quarterback hates the most is constant pressure. That will lead to a lot of sacks.

    NW: What was that relationship like, with the Fearsome Foursome?

    DJ: Itís the greatest thing. I lead with that everywhere I go in everything I do. That was probably the finest thing that happened in the course of our careers. We had a chance to play a long time together. That doesnít happen anymore. The beauty of this whole game is perfecting your skills and to do that you need to be with players for a long time to put it all together.

    NW: You werenít exactly a high draft choice, kind of an unknown commodity. What did you think of that at the time and did that provide motivation?

    DJ: It really pissed me off. I had one thing in mind, which was to make the team. When I came into the league that was the first Caucasian guy I ever played with or against. That was a whole different set of rules to apply. We had to get used to each other. Thank God I had some nice guys next to me and I didnít have to waste no time with no garbage. We all wanted to be great football players and we all wanted to win so we all approached it the same way. That was really a big step in my life. I went to segregated schools and the first involvement in integration I had was in the pros, eating together. There was a whole set of things that had to happen when they did that made me realize I had something. I knew I could play football, I knew that when it came. It was can I play at this level? After a couple weeks of training camp, I knew that then.

    NW: Thatís kind of an unknown aspect to your career. That could have made your transition to the NFL extremely difficult, right?

    DJ: That could have changed the whole dimension. Everything could have been the opposite if I had wasted time going through those problems or had somebody on the other side who thought a different way. We had guys who understood, paid no attention to what was going on. We all wanted to be good football players and we handled the situation the way it was. The foursome became not only a great unit on the field but we were a great unit off the field. We sang, we danced, we did anything we wanted to do as a unit. And you had to have all four of us; you couldnít get one or two of us. Those things are the things you remember the longest. Right now, we have gotten together every year two or three times for 30 or 40 years before Lamar Lundy passed. And every time we did, it was like the first time we met each other.

    NW: Thatís a hard bond to break.

    DJ: It was a beautiful relationship. It shows you why we played the type of football we did because we could dominate anybody, it didnít matter who it was. I donít care what you do, we donít care what you do on the field, we could defeat it. The coaches didnít bother us, we just did what we wanted to do and it always worked.

    NW: That kind of goes back to that intangible idea of caring about the guy next to you. Thatís necessary for success, isnít it?

    DJ: I guarantee that. You are on the line; you want your line to be the best. This league will break your neck if you are the only one rushing the passer. You have to do different things at different times to get that pressure. Constant pressure coming at you on every down, thatís what we were known for. We came from whistle to gun.

    NW: How do you account for your longevity considering the violent nature of your position and the game?

    DJ: I played 143 straight games and the only reason I missed the games I did was because I didnít particularly like the coach I was playing for at the time and I was not going to sacrifice my body for him. It played heavy in my situation because I wanted the enemy to know that at 1:05 every Sunday, I am going to be here. There was no injury or anything that would keep me away and I lived on that.

    NW: Still, itís pretty amazing that you almost never missed a game.

    DJ: That way those hangnail injuries you pay no attention to it. You play a game where there is contact on every play and there wonít be one minute of the game that doesnít hurt. If you fall victim to the hurt you will always have some kind of problem. But when 1:05 rolls around you have got Deacon. And each time that ball is snapped I am going to raise the level of play and I am coming at you and I am going to beat on your head, both sides of it.

    NW: How many sacks do you think you had in your career after looking back?

    DJ: 180.5. I had 26 in 1967, 68 I had 24. Thatís 50 sacks back to back. I dare anybody to come close to that.

    NW: Those two seasons, what set you apart? How were you able to take it to that next level?

    DJ: I was playing damn good football from 1960-1964. The numbers during that period all the way up until 1970, the numbers grew each year. When I came to grips with what I was doing on the field and I was doing it through reactions, not giving a thought, my hand would automatically go upside your head. Every play, run or pass, that was automatic. When it became automatic, I became a football player. I already had the tenacity and desire. I was already running that 40 in 4.4 or 4.5 seconds and I could run all day because my conditioning was superb. Thatís why I have got my knees today. I never had a scratch other than some rug burns on that Astroturf.

    NW: Is that one of those deals where it feels like everything is in slow motion around you but youíre in fast forward?

    DJ: It kind of looked like that. I donít know if I would say that but it sure looked like that. I came full tilt on every down. I didnít care whether we were 30 points up or down I am coming at you fill speed on every down and I had three guys next to me that felt the same way.

    NW: What do you think your legacy in this game is?

    DJ: I am proud of the fact that my style was copied. Until they outlawed the head slap, the whole league was using it. I am very proud of that. I am very proud that I played the kind of ball that inspired young people even today, even these young boys now that never saw me play but they heard about it, I have great conversations with them. Bruce Smith, Michael Strahan, and the guys that come up now. I always hang around the game in some capacity. I like to be around the guys. I like to hear their questions and hear them talk about what they have never seen. I tell them all they better be glad the rules have changed. Those big old fat offensive linemen right now, they would catch a cold.

    NW: You never hesitated to let your opponents know what was coming did you?

    DJ: Being the vocal guy that I was, I loved telling the guy across from me exactly what I was going to do to him. I used to upset my three compadres that I would open my mouth. I would say if he canít beat me normally, how is he going to beat me mad? That was my theory. You canít whup my (butt) mad and I donít care anyway because Iím better than you are. I am going to whip you when the time comes and thatís just the way it is. You can take that and go home with that and get pissed off with that. You can go to the Pope and ask him to give you some help. Iím the only one that will decide your fate.

    NW: Did you treat rookies on the other side worse than others?

    DJ: If you had an R by your name he is going to get an (butt) whupping. I didnít care if it was a rookie or not. I am going to whip the rookie or the vet. If you come at me with one man, you have got a problem. You could not block the four of us with one man. One of the prettiest things I remember about our group was the Vikings used to put 10 men on the line and send out one receiver. That made us proud because we didnít blitz anybody. We blitz on running downs. We felt pride and we would get mad at the coach if he would blitz because we are supposed to provide the pressure. That is what every team in this league, thatís what they should adopt.

    NW: Thatís pretty amazing that you never had to play the run.

    DJ: You can go back and look at any film and you will find me pressuring the passer. We reacted to the run. If you think you will beat us running you are dreaming. When you have got four guys up front that can come off the football with great speed and pursue both sidelines, we get in the lanes and we were big, when you fill those lanes up, where will you run? We played the pass every down and stopped the run automatically. We didnít play no run, if you figured on beating us with the run you were dreaming and that goes to Jim Brown and anyone that came at us.
    :ram: Thanks Deacon, for all those fantastic / fearsome plays! An absolutely phenomenal Rams DEFENSE, ca. 1966-1970.

    - - - - - - - No. 75, HOF ... ... 6'-5", 275 lbs. of pure attack, head slap and sack!

    PS: Rams official site actually has a nice intro page right now on the Deacon, with soul music of the era and all. ;)
    Last edited by RealRam; -09-23-2009, 06:05 AM. Reason: PS

  • #2
    Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

    Please allow me to indulge a little in the past right now that the present is only promising.

    I post on this now and then when I become somewhat nostalgic about the Rams, those years when I first "met" them, 1965.

    Love at first sight: the uniforms, the winning era that began when Coach Allen took over at the helm. And of course, the Rams D. Believe me, it was almost like watching the GSOT of ten years ago but on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

    Then there was that famous Fearsome Foursome with Deacon as the wild one. Watch out! :ram: So glad to see jersey 75 honored.


    My All-Time Team
    Peter King
    SI.com / CNN
    August 15, 2007

    DE | Deacon Jones | Los Angeles Rams (1961-71)
    If they'd counted sacks in his day, he'd hold the all-time record. He was so fast and tough, Jones put the "fearsome" into "Fearsome Foursome."
    This below is an example of what I used to bleed in blue back then, ca. 1967. L to R: DT Roger Brown; DT Merlin Olsen; MLB Myron Pottios; DE Deacon Jones (out of frame is DE Lamar Lundy). Opponents in huddle are calling for desperate running play away from No. 75.

    Click on image at your own risk...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by RealRam; -09-23-2009, 06:57 AM. Reason: Photo

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

      Long, long, long overdue. I'm so glad they're finally retiring his number. He certainly deserves it!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

        You know what I've always wondered? Why don't they just go back, watch the old tapes, and count the sacks? NFL films has every game ever played on film, why not just go back and record the numbers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

          I suspect that Deacon could suit up today and be no less effective than our current pass rush. This was the single most dominant and ferocious pass rusher in the history of the nfl. For those of you active in business, the effectiveness of the Headslap technique is not limited to football!

          Jones was the most feared player in the history of the franchise. I think the only other guy that came close (and he only played two seasons for us) was Dick Night Train Lane. As great as Jack Youngblood was, i dont believe he was as intimidating to defenses as Deacon Jones. Faulk was an offensive player so that is really an apples to oranges comparison.

          I have spoken over the years with a number of Rams players from that era. Almost to a T they have told me that while Jones was certainly the greatest pass rusher ever, they point out that without Merlin Olsen effectively playing run defense for both of them, jones wouldnt have been anywhere near as effective. Olsen was so dominant that he could cover both the tackle and the end spots and prevent offenses from running directly at Jones, which is the only way to really deal with a pure pass rusher.

          Long live Deacon, suit 'em up for Sunday and then honor him at halftime.

          ramming speed to all

          general counsel

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

            Originally posted by ScottD413 View Post
            You know what I've always wondered? Why don't they just go back, watch the old tapes, and count the sacks? NFL films has every game ever played on film, why not just go back and record the numbers?
            That would be great ScottD but NFL Films didn't really film every game back then, much less every play.

            Deacon was already burrying QBs early in his career which began in 1961. In its infancy, NFL Films -- which began to produce in 1962 -- was only recording highlights of very limited number of games and in the early 60s the Rams were going through some tough times (much as they have been these past few years); also, Deacon was not yet the monster he became a few years later so there must be very little material on his prowess from 61 to 65.

            It's just impossible, alas, to gather a true account of all of DJ's sacks. Too bad. What a record it would be. :ram:

            Even so, it is estimated he had over 170 sacks in his career and in a couple of years with the Rams from the mid to late 60s, it is 'almost' a fact that he had over 20. TWENTY! Actual total would exceed 200. Can you believe that?!?

            I can. I remember the fame that DJ began to bring upon the Rams defense during those years; I certainly did not tally sacks by those aggressive, four ferocious forces, I just enjoyed seeing opponent QBs being squashed every time I could! TV was much more limited (forget about replayed games) and I lived in northern Mexico but was still able to see the Rams in those years because they became a very prime-time team. I sure wish that Monday Night Football were around before 1970...

            Originally posted by General Counsel
            I have spoken over the years with a number of Rams players from that era. Almost to a T they have told me that while Jones was certainly the greatest pass rusher ever, they point out that without Merlin Olsen effectively playing run defense for both of them, jones wouldnt have been anywhere near as effective. Olsen was so dominant that he could cover both the tackle and the end spots and prevent offenses from running directly at Jones, which is the only way to really deal with a pure pass rusher.
            Very true. It was a real twosome, of course, that anchored the foursome. Yet all four warriors -- Lundy / Schumacher / Talbert; Grier / Brown / Bacon; Olsen / Olsen (brothers), Jones ... were a constant among the NFL defenses from 1965 to 1972. It's no wonder they were considered as "the most dominant defensive line in football history", and that coming from Mr. Dick Butkus.

            But yes, Merlin and David supported each other tremendously well. In addition, head coach Allen was heavily defense oriented -- with coach Halas as his mentor how could he not? In 1967 the Rams allowed fewest points in the entire NFL (National + American leagues), 196. Again, rest assured that Deacon had his share and fun of smothering sacks that year. In that era he and Merlin both would earn all sorts of awards and titles from the press such as, 1st Team All-Conference, Associated Press / Sporting News / UPI, etc. Not to mention making Pro Bowl and, eventually, the HOF.


            As I said earlier, during these days of football Rams famine I enjoy reliving and relishing those years and colors of Ram grandeur. ;)

            And BTW...

            Long live Deacon, suit 'em up for Sunday and then honor him at halftime. -- GC
            It would be a blast to see DJ in his 1969 Rams uniform, place a dark plastic shield behind the face mask and simply inspire.

            Last edited by RealRam; -09-23-2009, 04:22 PM. Reason: Speleen

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

              As I was packing to go on vacation over a week ago, I decided to throw my white Deacon Jones jersey into the bag for the trip. At that time, I didn't know that Deacon was to be honored in a pre-game ceremony. I will wear that jersey on Sunday and hope that I can get it autographed. Should that occur, it will be framed. I have several things autographed by him, but to get it for myself in person would be great.

              Thanks for posting this - you have always impressed me with your Rams knowledge...and now with your NFL Films knowledge.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                Originally posted by AlphaRam View Post
                As I was packing to go on vacation over a week ago, I decided to throw my white Deacon Jones jersey into the bag for the trip. At that time, I didn't know that Deacon was to be honored in a pre-game ceremony. I will wear that jersey on Sunday and hope that I can get it autographed. Should that occur, it will be framed. I have several things autographed by him, but to get it for myself in person would be great.
                Wow, wouldn't that be something! To get that jersey signed when No. 75 is being honored and retired. Go for it Alpha ... what memorabilia!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                  Here's an excerpt from Rosey Grier's interview regarding the Deacon. [Big Rosey (DT 6-5, 310 lbs., what a name, huh) was present at the moment of the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy in L.A. and actually helped in taking the pistol away from the killer in the crowd. Grier went on to do evangelical work as a minister then wrote a book, Needlepoint for Men...]


                  Rosey Grier Discusses the Deacon

                  Nick Wagoner
                  Sept. 23, 2009

                  NW: Tell me something that people donít really know or understand about Deacon Jones.

                  RG: Deacon has a great heart. Heís loud and you think he doesnít care but Deacon really cares what is going on around him. I watched the way he talks to young people. He sounds tough and sometimes it requires tough love but he wants the kids to get serious about what they do to make their life more meaningful. Everyone makes mistakes but to tell a young person though you went down and made a mistake, get up and go on. You canít sit there and wallow in it. If you know you are on a bad track, get off that track and get on the right one.

                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by RealRam; -09-24-2009, 06:15 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                    I never know what to write in a thread about Deacon. He was my hero as a boy; the feelings run deep. He is at the very heart of my Ram fanhood.

                    All I can say without getting all teary and rambling is that this honor is long overdue and I'm glad that he is in good enough health to enjoy his moment in the sun.

                    My dream scenario; the entire Rams DL headslaps their Packer opposite on the first snap and buries Rodgers. I'd sell an organ to pay for the fines,boys.

                    Screw The Gipper. Win one for The Deacon.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                      And this is Part 3 abridged of Wagoner's interviews on DJ. This time with another Ram HOF, Merlin Olsen who played DT right next to No. 75. Ha!, for some years Merlin was a spokesman for TDF flowers; also an NBC NFL sporstcaster and an actor of mellow TV shows and movies [such as The Undefeated, with his buddy Roman Gabriel, 1969].

                      Merlin Olsen Discusses Deacon Jones

                      By Nick Wagoner
                      Senior Writer
                      Sept. 24, 2009

                      It is said that there is a foil for everything in life. Merlin Olsen probably couldnít have been more different than Deacon Jones.

                      Coming from backgrounds completely opposite of one another, Jones and Olsen found common ground on the football field. There, they formed a dominant partnership and forged an undying friendship.

                      With Jones set to have his No. 75 retired on Sunday against Green Bay, Olsen sat down to discuss his great friend and teammate with me.

                      NW: What made Deacon Jones so great?

                      MO: I think the fact that he was such a dominant player. The one thing you try to look for when you are looking for defensive players is people who force offenses to deal with them before they can set their game plan. Deacon is one of those people. He was so quick off the ball and so strong in the pass rush that you had to do some special things with your pass protection or your quarterback was going to get killed.

                      NW: How did the Fearsome Foursome make each other better?

                      MO: I think itís the age old story, if you have only one pass rusher; itís not hard to deal with one person. But if you have two then that becomes a complication. You add a couple more then you really have trouble. The fearsome foursome was all big and strong and quick and we could all rush the passer and that just created almost insurmountable problems for teams working to protect their quarterbacks.

                      NW: What about feeding off of each within the game?

                      MO: I think we were ahead of our time that way. We played together for 10 years and during that time, even early on, I knew what Deacon was going to do and he knew what I was going to do so very often we didnít have to pre arrange any signals before the ball was snapped. We were able to adjust on the fly. If I saw Deacon coming in hard to the inside, I simply moved out, took over his responsibilities outside. And if he saw me outside, he would do the same thing. To be able to do that when the opportunity presented itself gave us some great advantages.

                      NW: What was the best thing about being a part of that group?

                      MO: I think probably the greatest strength we had was that we were and are as close as friends. And that we not only really cared about each other but we also goaded each other on. We all wanted to be better as a part of the Fearsome Foursome and the end result was we were constantly working to improve our performance. The place you see that is in practice. Our practices were always incredibly physical and we really worked hard to get ready to play every game.

                      NW: Deacon was kind of the unofficial spokesperson for you all, wasnít he?

                      MO: Deacon loved to talk. You never had to ask the question, ĎWhere is Deacon?í You just opened your ears. Deacon was one of the early trash talkers, I think.

                      NW: Earlier you mentioned being ahead of your time as a group, how do you mean?

                      MO: I think the one thing that was rather unique at the time was we rushed the passer first and played the run second. Quite a few defenses do that now but it was very uncommon at that time. We tried it both ways and we found out we could actually play the run as well if we were pass rushing first and then reacting to the run but we couldnít pass rush as well if we played the run first. That did give us an early advantage. Because we had such a strong left side of our defense, we always had good linebackers over there; we basically took the trap responsibility off Deacon. That let him come off the ball full speed and the other members of the defense on that side had to make certain we could handle the trap and that gave him a huge advantage because he didnít have to worry about being trapped from the inside and he could come off as hard as he wanted to on every play.

                      I'm still hoping this coming home opener will turn out to be the Rams 1st win in 2009 and that the Deacon will feel extra good about the double thrill on Sunday.

                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                        Originally posted by Azul e Oro View Post
                        I never know what to write in a thread about Deacon. He was my hero as a boy; the feelings run deep. He is at the very heart of my Ram fanhood.

                        All I can say without getting all teary and rambling is that this honor is long overdue and I'm glad that he is in good enough health to enjoy his moment in the sun.

                        My dream scenario; the entire Rams DL headslaps their Packer opposite on the first snap and buries Rodgers. I'd sell an organ to pay for the fines, boys.

                        Screw The Gipper. Win one for The Deacon.
                        :helmet: You said it, A&O! Let's do this! GO RAMS!!!
                        Last edited by RealRam; -09-25-2009, 12:16 AM. Reason: A&O (not 'A&E')

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones. Sept. 27, jersey retired

                          In Maui's thread about Danny Amendola providing a much needed spark, and Ram3057's post about Deacon hopefully being a spark for the D as well, I mentioned that it must be quite an honor to meet DJ, a player / legend who was making NFL history with tremendous accomplishment even before any of the current Rams were even born.

                          I stand corrected. Leonard Little was born in 1974, the year David Jones, Rams most famous No. 75, retired from pro football. Still, I hope that these two Ram DEs get to chat before the game this Sunday. And maybe even exchange their suits in the locker room before kickoff. *Yeaaaah*

                          Jones retired from football in 1974, spending the bulk of his career with the Rams. Given 35 years to reflect on what heís accomplished, it all comes back to the legacy he left behind and the future it helped create.
                          ďI am proud of the fact that my style was copied,Ē Jones said. ďUntil they outlawed the head slap, the whole league was using it. I am very proud of that. I am very proud that I played the kind of ball that inspired young people even today, even these young boys now that never saw me play but they heard about it, I have great conversations with them. I always hang around the game in some capacity. I like to be around the guys. I like to hear their questions and hear them talk about what they have never seen.Ē

                          What theyíve never seen is a player so exceptional that in every sense of the term, changed the game like Deacon Jones.
                          -- NWagoner
                          :<> Deacon's other good buddies from the famed Fearsome quartet.

                          85. Lamar Lundy, Rams DE 1957-69; 6-7, 270 - - - - - - - - - -

                          Sadly, Lundy passed away two years ago at the age of 71. He was the tallest member of the foursome at 6-7 and actually began as a TE in the NFL. I remember he used to block passes more than the rest of the Rams DL.

                          78. Roger Brown, Rams DT 1967-69; 6-5, 300 - - - - - - - - - -

                          72. Diron Talbert, Rams DL 1967-70; 6-5, 265

                          79. Coy Bacon, Rams DL 1968-72; 6-4, 270

                          Last pic below: fear of being followed. With Deacon coming first... :ram:
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by RealRam; -09-25-2009, 04:23 PM. Reason: Pics

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                            I have had the enormous pleasure of meeting Mr. Jones a few years ago. I refer to him as "Mr. Jones" because I respect the man that much. This honor on Sunday is too long coming, but finally, it is here. I just wish they would have worn the throwback blue and whites from his era in this game. How cool would that be?

                            I think the Rams coaching staff should put together a highlight reel of Mr. Jones and the rest of the Fearsome Foursome and play it for the 2009 Rams before the game on Sunday.

                            Maybe, just maybe, it will inspire them enough to go out and play with a passion and a ferociousness and for one day, BE the Fearsome Foursome.

                            Guys, win one for Mr. Jones and the rest of the Fearsome Foursome.
                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4324_1458960283388_621[/ATTACH]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: An Interview w/Deacon Jones / Sept. 27, jersey retired

                              Originally posted by RealRam View Post
                              That would be great ScottD but NFL Films didn't really film every game back then, much less every play.

                              Deacon was already burrying QBs early in his career which began in 1961. In its infancy, NFL Films -- which began to produce in 1962 -- was only recording highlights of very limited number of games and in the early 60s the Rams were going through some tough times (much as they have been these past few years); also, Deacon was not yet the monster he became a few years later so there must be very little material on his prowess from 61 to 65.

                              It's just impossible, alas, to gather a true account of all of DJ's sacks. Too bad. What a record it would be. :ram:

                              Even so, it is estimated he had over 170 sacks in his career and in a couple of years with the Rams from the mid to late 60s, it is 'almost' a fact that he had over 20. TWENTY! Actual total would exceed 200. Can you believe that?!?

                              I can. I remember the fame that DJ began to bring upon the Rams defense during those years; I certainly did not tally sacks by those aggressive, four ferocious forces, I just enjoyed seeing opponent QBs being squashed every time I could! TV was much more limited (forget about replayed games) and I lived in northern Mexico but was still able to see the Rams in those years because they became a very prime-time team. I sure wish that Monday Night Football were around before 1970...



                              Very true. It was a real twosome, of course, that anchored the foursome. Yet all four warriors -- Lundy / Schumacher / Talbert; Grier / Brown / Bacon; Olsen / Olsen (brothers), Jones ... were a constant among the NFL defenses from 1965 to 1972. It's no wonder they were considered as "the most dominant defensive line in football history", and that coming from Mr. Dick Butkus.

                              But yes, Merlin and David supported each other tremendously well. In addition, head coach Allen was heavily defense oriented -- with coach Halas as his mentor how could he not? In 1967 the Rams allowed fewest points in the entire NFL (National + American leagues), 196. Again, rest assured that Deacon had his share and fun of smothering sacks that year. In that era he and Merlin both would earn all sorts of awards and titles from the press such as, 1st Team All-Conference, Associated Press / Sporting News / UPI, etc. Not to mention making Pro Bowl and, eventually, the HOF.


                              As I said earlier, during these days of football Rams famine I enjoy reliving and relishing those years and colors of Ram grandeur. ;)

                              And BTW...


                              It would be a blast to see DJ in his 1969 Rams uniform, place a dark plastic shield behind the face mask and simply inspire.

                              Thanks for setting me straight. Good Stuff!

                              Comment

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                              • RamWraith
                                Lots of good team quotes for the week
                                by RamWraith
                                Head Coach Scott Linehan

                                September 19, 2007



                                (Opening Remarks)

                                ďDrew (Bennett), he got all of practice in so there shouldnít be any issue with him playing this week. He was limited some, but just because we kept him out of things. Marc (Bulger) had full participation in practice. He was limited a little bit in his throwing, but he should be fine. Tye Hill did not practice. Richie Incognito did not practice. Claude Terrell had full practice and Pisa (Tinoisamoa) was limited. Weíre headed in the right direction as far as getting guys back on the field. There shouldnít be any surprises, hopefully we donít have another Thursday like we had last week. Tomorrow we should be okay.Ē



                                (On G Milford Brown)

                                ďHeís fine. There was no problem with him recovering from post game. He was a lot better yesterday and he went full today.Ē



                                (On T Alex Barronís attributes)

                                ďHis athleticism. Heís ability to match up against speed. He has enough size to anchor. The ends arenít getting any smaller these days. You go against some pretty incredible athletes over there. Heís been going against some pretty good ones on the other side. Itís kind of 50-50. Heís at the blind side of a right-handed quarterback. Thatís very important for your quarterback knowing heís going to see things to his right and to his left. He has to count on that guy and Alexís No. 1 ability is to pass protect. Heís become a lot better run blocker as heís progressed in his career. His overall talent. Heís really improved since heís played for us in the last two years, and certainly since he came in the league.Ē



                                (On how to reduce the number of hits on the quarterback)

                                ďYou have to do it. The No. 1 best way to protect your quarterback is the run game. We have to get our run game going. It has not been satisfactory in the first two games. That has to be our strength Ė for our football team to run the ball offensively and to stop the run defensively. If you get your run game going there is a certain amount of respect that the defense gives the run game and it definitely helps your pass protection and puts you in better third-down position which is critical when you get in third-and-long or extra long. It gets the defensive ends; I know our defense is much, much better, when we get in those long-area situations because weíre equipped that way as far as our speed and all that. Until we do that itís going to be a concern. There are other ways, protection schemes. Itís not always match protecting or keeping lots of people in. There is timing of routes. Everyone knows we have a deeper design to a number of our plays, but we have to pick and chose when we do those as well.Ē



                                (On averaging 5-6 yards a carry for a short period of time in each of the first two games)

                                ďWeíve managed...
                                -09-19-2007, 03:56 PM
                              • Fat Pang
                                The first ten minutes.
                                by Fat Pang
                                I really wasn't sure which forum to put this post in. It's about football, but it's not about the Rams or the NFL. It's also very personal, or at least it's very personal in the sense that it's purely about my sensory perceptions of the first ten minutes of a football game from a players point of view. So, I plumped for the the default choice of the lounge, on the basis that in the unlikely event that I offended anyone with my musings, not very many people would see it.

                                As I think we can all agree, whether Ram fans or not, (and there are some who grace our forums who add to this site and aren't) the start of the football season is something to be savoured and anticipated. We start thinking about the future as soon as our teams last snap is concluded. Whether we were happy with the achievments of our chosen team or not,the future provides the panacea for all ills. Anything is possible in the virtual nirvana that is the future. Worst to first in one season is possible, we all know it, so what's to stop us from dreaming?

                                It's one of the best features of the human condition, a natural optimism, that, guided by the love of the sport, finds itself a comfortable chair, a jaundiced view and dreams of glories to come. I've already discussed this somewhere else of course, and informed you all of my intention to look for the best this season. I'm sincere in that and hope that I'm pleasantly surprised, but I realised this morning that as I did so, I was talking from a fans point of view.

                                This is natural of course because I am an armchair fan, but I was also a player for nearly eight years, and so realised that there are other points of view to explore. Player and fan aren't necessarily related either. At college, I knew guys who loved playing the game and were very good at it but who hated watching it and regarded the three hours spent doing so as a complete waste of time. Happy to have their own bones broken, but not too interested in seeing others break theirs.

                                So there is a difference that we often ignore when it comes to being passionate about the result of a football game and the outcome of a season and the vantage point from which you view it.

                                We're all guilty of it too. How often have we screamed at the television, berating those players who are on the wrong end of a caning for not caring quite as much as we do? How often have we held them culpable for dashing our dreams? How often have we accused them of being paycheque(paycheck) players with all that is implied in that statement?

                                I know that I felt that I had cause to do all those things for virtually the entire 90's.:x

                                However at work this morning, whilst writing a lesson plan that would teach chinese children whose native language is Cantonese, to write Japanese Haiku poetry in English, (Not as hard as it sounds) I thought about this very pertinent fact, something I was surprised I hadn't considered...
                                -09-06-2006, 06:36 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                Coach Scott Linehan December 18
                                by RamWraith
                                Head Coach Scott Linehan

                                December 18, 2007



                                (Opening Remarks)

                                ďWe had a number of guys that were somewhat limited. For the most part we had full participation for the majority of our team. We did limit some guys based on a short week.Ē



                                (On LB Will Witherspoon)

                                ďWillís toe is still a little bit sore. He practiced. I donít think he missed any reps. He might have taken every one.Ē



                                (On if he likes a short week after a loss)

                                ďIíd rather have it after a win. For this time of year I didnít know how Iíd feel about a short week at the end of the season, when I saw it on the schedule. Being the way that itís worked out and how it fits into the last two games. Itís good timing. Thereís a lot going on around here with Marshall (Faulk) coming back and having his number retired. That will be a good change of pace for us.Ē



                                (On Pittsburghís defense)

                                ďIt gets pretty exotic on third down. Itís pretty much what you get from the Steelers on first and second down. When you get in third down it gets pretty interesting. Thatís where they do a lot of their damage.Ē



                                (On if Pittsburghís defense is similar to San Franciscoís third down defense)

                                ďItís very similar. Most of the 3-4 teams are getting to that. A lot of them are mirroring the third-down philosophy and even the 4-3 teams. They get to these exotic 3-4, third-down blitz packages.Ē



                                (On if he will keep the game plan simple)

                                ďThere are some carryover from the last couple of weeks just because of the amount of time we donít have to rep plays. We still have to prepare for a different defensive front. The match up things that come up with playing a team that has some good defensive personnel.Ē



                                (On RB Steven Jacksonís play this season)

                                ďHeís been playing exceptional. The four straight games where heís had a 40-yard run, thatís phenomenal. In 2002, we had a similar deal with Michael Bennett who had five or six games with a 50-yard run or more. Steven seems to be doing it every week, now that heís gotten himself back to 100 percent. Stevenís a competitor. He wants us to do better. He wants us to have a better football team. Thatís one thing I donít want anyone to misunderstand. You see a guy that wants everything to improve including our football team, our play and everything else. What he wants to really get done is to do things with his play and also step up in a role of a leader.Ē



                                (On why Pittsburgh is so tough to run against)

                                ďThey have a scheme thatís difficult at times to find cracks in. They are very well coached. They do a very good job of taking away those cracks and seems that you need to have to have those two, three or four long runs. They...
                                -12-18-2007, 05:55 PM
                              • 28rulz
                                What do you remember?
                                by 28rulz
                                I am reading a Grishm book called The Bleachers and began thinking about what it must be like for those of you who played football to watch the games now. What you miss, what plays strongest in your mind now when you look back. Did any of you play for any diehard teams like portrayed in the book? What kind of emotions does watching the Rams in their sucess and failures stir up in you from your days of play? I kind of feel left out of this realm of football.
                                Mods, you may need to move this to another area, I wasnt sure.
                                -07-25-2004, 09:24 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                Linehan and others comments
                                by RamWraith
                                Rams Head Coach Scott Linehan

                                September 17, 2008



                                (Opening Remarks)

                                The out players are (WR) (Drew) Bennett and (WR) (Keenan) Burton. Burton did have the scope yesterday afternoon, everything went great, wasnít anything more than what we thought. Heíll be out for the bye right now for him, weíll see where he is at that point. (G) (Jacob) Bell and (DE) (Leonard) Little were limited in practice as far as their participation, but weíll know probably by Friday, I would think, it might be a gameday decision, but probably by Friday.Ē



                                (On if thereís any lineup changes)

                                ďNot anything yet. Even if we did we wouldnít announce it.Ē



                                (On if there are going to more changes on the offensive side of the ball)

                                ďKicker. Weíre not going to play (K) Josh Brown, heís just too nervous going back to Seattle.Ē



                                (On why he doesnít want to announce any of lineup changes)

                                ďI donít see an upside about having any personnel changes in what we do the week before. I donít think thereís any upside to it as far as, given the information, it has nothing to do with giving it to you guys it has more for what weíre doing for the gameplan.Ē



                                (On the snowball effect of losing consecutive games and whatís different this week)

                                ďBecause weíve only played two games. Really, every year is a different schedule and timing of things, all that stuff, and we didnít play particularly well in our first two games, but we played two tough opponents that were probably preseason, Super Bowl, got a lot of accolades as to what they were going to do. We would like to be sitting here in a better situation after two games, but also knowing who we played, and itís not like it's getting any easier, but I just feel, this is our first division game. Really all the goals weíve set for our team are right in front of us at this point in the season. Every season, in my lifetime and it might be different for other people, but in my lifetime, has just had a unique feel or flavor to it and this will be no different in my opinion. The guys have been really, really responsive to rebounding and so weíll see, but I just have a good feeling about it.Ē



                                (On the atmosphere and attitude on the first day of the work week)

                                ďThatís great; actually it was really good. I didnít expect any different, but you still have to see. Everybody in the building has to be consistent in that way and I think itís been outstanding. Again, itís early and weíd like to go back and have a couple do-overs, but thatís not the way life is and thatís definitely not the way football is so if we can keep our head and wits about us, we can really, really get something going at this point because itís still early in the season and weíre in a good spot. We havenít played in...
                                -09-18-2008, 04:21 AM
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