Deacon Jones and Distant Memories

The NFL community lost one of its brightest stars as Deacon (David) Jones passed away yesterday at the age of 74. He revolutionized the defensive end position in the NFL by bringing blazing speed (and the head-slap) to the position, and wreaked havoc on quarterbacks throughout his time in the NFL. He of course coined the term ‘sack’ and turned it into the measure of a great pass rusher. He, by all accounts, retired as the sack leader in the NFL with a total of 194½ sacks (Pro Football Weekly). Since passed by Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

I did see him and the Fearsome Foursome play back in the day, and the guy was relentless. Defensive players at the time weren’t nearly as fast as Deacon, and no one covered the field from sideline to sideline like he did. The Niners were dogmeat in the 60s during most of Deacon’s tenure in LA, and even when the Niners made their playoff push from 69-71, they still had trouble with the Rams and their defense. I hated Roman Gabriel and the Rams with a passion, but you couldn’t help but admire the intense ferocity and determination Deacon Jones brought to the NFL every game and every play. R.I.P. Deacon Jones.


Deacon about to put a head slap on Bob St. Clair

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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62 Responses to Deacon Jones and Distant Memories

  1. Alleykat says:

    Man that was fuckin “REAL Football” back then hey Chuck.Yeah like you said the 49ers were dogmeat against them back in the day.
    Shit didn’t they even have Sonny Sixkiller after Gabriel for awhile and he beat us too.
    Love the name Sixkiller Btw.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    And in the strange but true dep’t, see if you can spot the familiar faces in the Judge Judy clip . . .

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Did Sixkiller play for the Rams? I remember him from his Washington Huskies days. He and Plunkett had some good games against each other.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Don’t all chime in at once, now.

  5. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Sonny Sixkiller had a bit role in “The Longest Yard” (1974) with Burt Reynolds.
    I don’t think he ever played in the NFL, just the World Football League.

  6. Del Mar Dennis says:

    No clue as to Jimbo’s fascination with Judge Judy. Apparently he wants to bring her to practice. Might not be the worst thing in the world. Bring Judy to practice and there’s a good chance she’ll end up starting at safety over Craig Dahl.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Oh, I’m sure Dennis has seen his share of the insides of a few prison cells.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    I swear to God, Buwwit is a 5 year old. God forbid I don’t agree with the rainbow ponyland scenarios he puts forth.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Never in the field of human conflict has so much been said and meant so little.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Too funny. Fuck I’ don’t know. All I said was that the idea of signing Mangina may be to position him for the DC job in the future. I get 600 breathless posts that I’m a Raider fan and I killed Fangio;s dog.

      • 12th man says:

        How dare you!

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        If Fangio does not learn to rotate his linemen and keeps wearing Justin Smith out, his fucking dog is going to be the least of his worries.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Hey! Long time, 12th.

    • 12th man says:

      Yeah got seriously busy work wise for a while there. Kept up with the blogs and the Niner news though, interesting move bringing in Mangenious the rat though. This idea that they need a defensive guru to aid the offense in game planning is a bit of a stretch.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, that was my feeling. I’m not sure how sold they are on Fangio. He gets one more year I’d think. The defense, for all it’s impressive numbers, faded down the stretch, and were exposed as being pretty thin when Justin Smith went down. The draft this year should help some, but the way they played in the playoffs was uninspiring at best.

    • 12th man says:

      The key to this riddle was Baalke, who said that the lack of rotation on the D line was a matter of style not the lack of able players. Fangio and/or Tomsula chose to keep the first stringers in, the players Baalke had behind the starters were capable in rotation in his opinion.

      In hindsight it was a mistake as the starters wore down and were ultimately injured. I would guess that Mangenious is an insurance policy in several respects. I also read he signed a 2 year deal which is also a clue.

    • NoFear49er says:

      I think I’d be pretty pissed and insulted if I was Roman and my boss just hired someone to help me do a major part of my job along with the pressers to tell the world effectively that I was being blamed for coming up short in the big game. The last time this happened it was to help a rookie OC who sorely needed the help. Harbaugh may have screwed the pooch on this one even before Mangini quits and airs our dirty laundry.

      Everyone is blaming Fangio for not rotating in D-line players. Did you all not see the drop off with RJF? Despite the public statements of support, do you not think Fangio knew this, too? Personally, I fault him for not changing up the scheme instead of just plugging in a lesser talent once he knew how serious Smith’s injury was.

      • 12th man says:

        NF, there is a big difference between rotating players to keep them fresh and wholesale replacement for lesser talent IMO.

      • NoFear49er says:

        But maybe you don’t just give away a series, maybe you keep the defense on the field way too long because the replacement is not as good at reading the offense or selling the zone blitz or timing the stunt. Also, LBs are usually the ones making up for a bad play or mistake at the line taking one or both inside guys out of position, and probably more pressure on the secondary. It’s fine to give up the RB stuff behind the LOS, or the inside blitz for a series if that’s all you give up, but the defense getting off the field gets the players some rest, too.

        It seems our defense had more problems getting started than getting gassed late anyway.

      • 12th man says:

        Seems to me there has to be a balance NF. They have to rotate to a larger degree to have their best players available in the biggest games. They could pick and choose how much they play the elite guys by opponent for instance and rest them if a game is in hand for instance. Last year they seriously overplayed them and it clearly hurt down the stretch.

        A balance is in order I believe.

  11. snarkk says:

    Harbs went to see Judge Judy because she’s got some really good Pistol plays for Kaep. Really, the more I hear about Harbaugh, the more I like the guy. In a nutty kind of way…

  12. unca_chuck says:

    My biggest problem with Fangio, and to a certain extent, Harbaugh, is the fact that the defense came out so crappy in the last 2 playoff games. I think we rotated Cox in toward the end of the 1st half of the Super Bowl to try and slow down Balt’s passing game. That seemed to make a difference in the 2nd half. Not sure about the Atl game. Every game (including GB) though, teams came out throwing early and often. The Niners didn’t adjust very well or very fast.

    • 12th man says:

      I thought first half play on both sides of the ball was flat. Deer in the headlights type stuff. Strange to see the “dynamic” offense be so anemic and the “best D in the league” be so over matched. Fangio seemed to stick with the same basic game plan even though the personnel had changed from Smith to RJF etc and Roman needed to be more adventurous, it was the superbowl dammit, why wait until they were so far behind.

      Faint heart never won 6th superbowl or something like that.

  13. snarkk says:

    Cool that you saw the Deacon play, Chuck.
    I used to intensely dislike Roman Gabriel, too, though I’m not sure why. He was OK, not great, but always seemed to get it done against the Niners. By today’s mobility standards, the guy was a statue, back then, not too bad. QB play has come so far from those days, it’s crazy…

    • unca_chuck says:

      Improved QB play, and the higher completion percentages, stems from the many rule changes designed to let WRs run free in the secondary. Time was you could chuck WRs downfield, and pretty much tackle WRs at the line. If the ball wasn’t in the air, you were fair game. If you didn’t have your head in a swivel, you’d get blasted even though passes weren’t even coming your way. That (and the WCO) did more to raise completion %ages than anything else.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    Saw Tarkington once or twice as well. He was ahead of his time. Always wanted he and Bud Grant to get over the hump (if it wasn’t the Niners) but they never could.

    Yeah, Gabriel always did just enough to kick our ass. Him and Jack Snow were my most despised Rams.

  15. 12th man says:

    Niners think the pass D fizzled due to lack of pass rush late season/playoffs. Whilst I see that being somewhat true I don’t entirely buy it and the net result of the off season so far is the back field is worse than last year on paper, Justin is an injury question mark and the apparent replacements for Soap and RJF are underwhelming.

    Niners have no superstars in the backfield and did nothing to get better at corner but had enough ammo to make something more happen, odd decisions to me.

  16. unca_chuck says:

    Brown was solid at corner. Rogers was not very good. Culliver was fine til he opened his mouth. Goldson? Well, we have to move on from him. Whitner is solid calling the D, but not so good in coverage., Reid has a bit of pressure to come in and make an impact. I think the defensive backfield is as good as the pass rush. I’m more worried about the rush more than anything. As teams showed in the playoffs, when we come out in our standard defense, bad shit can happen on 1st and 2nd down.

    The Niners addressed the pass defense by getting deeper on the D line.

    • 12th man says:

      My point is I felt they needed to address both rush and pass D and I’n not really sure they did much with the rush but we shall see.

  17. 12th man says:

    PFT, Andy Reid wants Alex to let it rip more in practice….lol.

  18. Del Mar Dennis says:

    What’s this about me and prison? I go as far as the county line. Even I have standards and morals. Well, some. OK, a few. Enough to have kept me from starring in 1978’s, “Scared Straight!” with Peter Falk.

    You know who will commit crimes worthy of a prison stay this year? Opposing QBs who face the Niners shitty secondary. They are going to violate, rape and sodomize our DBs this year. They’re going to love Aaron Rodgers in Cell Block P. They’ll be Discount Double Checking him all day.

    • Nipper says:

      What are you doing in that stable, Dennis?

      • Del Mar Dennis says:

        It’s a little crowded. It’s wall to wall horseshit topped off with Siamese cat hair. A regular royal palace. My harem doesn’t help any either. “Tidy” isn’t a word in their vocabulary. Try picking up after yourself for change.

  19. 12th man says:

    Andy (throw it 50 times a game) Reid had better get a strong running game going PDQ or the Niners will be getting a third rounder next year.

  20. rtfirefly2 says:

    How many defensive guys did the Niners draft this year?
    I know, I know, I should stop asking rhetorical questions.
    Justin is 33 and may never recover from his injury, though you won’t get that from the press.
    The Niners have holes to fill on D with Goldson off and Justin hurt.
    Mangini is just fine with me.
    He’ll be Houdini.

  21. rtfirefly2 says:

    Reno is absolutely right on this one.
    You have to build from the trenches.
    Deacon Jones knew that.
    If I had Jerruh Jones money, I’d show him how to build a team.
    Greatly, he has the money, no brains for football, and no passion, and now he’s passing it on to his son the new GM.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Well, we certainly added bodies to the D line. How they work out remains to be seen.

  23. unca_chuck says:

    Speaking of prison, the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez, has died in San Quentin.

  24. rtfirefly2 says:

    Takes time to build lines, Chuck. Lots of time and lots of coaching.
    Justin will probably want to play until he drops.
    You’ve got to spell him and ease him into retirement and coaching.
    He’ll be a helluva coach.

  25. rtfirefly2 says:

    Here’s one, Chuckster.
    One time at my job in Sunnyvale my bud and I had to go to this training seminar, run by the folks from the software company in Bedford, MA.
    They obviously didn’t know the area well and missed Silicon Valley by about 60 miles.
    My bud and I go out on break and it’s like, “Look! There’s San Quentin!”
    They held the seminar right down the street within spitting distance of death row.
    Good times.

  26. rtfirefly2 says:

    Chuck, my cousin (Chuck also by coincidence) found The City by the Bay on his way to the Korean Police Action.
    When he got back, he went to USF. Learned every street by heart and as a real estate agent, still knew them when he was 70.
    I always had to drive in those days, but with him I learned to sit still and just look.
    And I thought I knew. I tried to avoid the traffic leaving Candlestick by unconventional means.
    One time wound up driving through Hunter’s Point, but the worst was the day I turned south and got lost in some godforsaken industrial area way after dark.
    Finally found my way to the Bayshore and got home.
    Freakin’ good times. I’m too old for that scheist now, but I don’t regret it one bit.

  27. rtfirefly2 says:

    Chuck, I apologize for old man failing memory.
    Is it Land’s End in the NW of the City. Beautiful, quiet, nobody knew about it.
    You could see the bridge to the East, and you could look straight down into the ocean from the woods.
    Walter O’Malley may have swindled the NY Giants back then, but Chavez Ravine is a smoggy overcrowded peace of trash now.
    And I got to see Juan Marichal pitch, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey play. Now there’s the new park and when my friend and I went to one of the first games, KTVU tried to put us on the news because we came so early to enjoy the sun.
    Alas, we were eating Togo’s sandwiches and not the new garlic fries. Didn’t make TV.
    Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  28. unca_chuck says:

    Yup, RTF. Due north of the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths.

  29. rtfirefly2 says:

    I was checking out some old YouTube vids of #16 today.
    Hank Stram called him “A Piece of Work”.
    Kappy has big shoes to fill.

  30. rtfirefly2 says:

    BTW, I blew out my back awhile ago and I’ll I’ve to do for now is sit, relax, and blog.
    Back’s almost better. Hell, I survived cancer. I’ll croak when the big Football God in the Sky calls my number.

  31. rtfirefly2 says:

    Bored Shitless until my back heals, Chuck.
    I’ve been watching vids of #16.
    Fuckin’ unbelievable. How come nobody drafted this guy until the 3rd?

  32. Del Mar Dennis says:

    They’re running the 145th Belmont Stakes today. Who do you like? Who gives a shit. More importantly, who do I like? ORB. I’m sticking with my Derby and Preakness pick to bounce back off that oinker in Baltimore. Truth be told, that is my biggest detriment as a handicapper and gambler of the thoroughbreds. I get too attached and emotionally involved with a certain horse and horse and I stick with with him or her through thick and then regardless if my head tells me if they’re a good bet or not. Hey! It’s only money.


    And I’d be remiss if I didn’t post Secretariat’s win in the ’73 Belmont to complete his Triple Crown. Without doubt, the greatest single day performance in sports history by any athlete. Man or animal.

  33. Grumpy Guy says:

    Del, I’d argue for this day.

  34. rtfirefly2 says:

    Dennis, after the mare stepped on his leg (the first time Secretariat had ever raced competively with a mare), they put him to sleep and did an autopsy.
    His heart was 3x bigger than any other racehorse. That allowed him to take in 3x more oxygen than any other horse.
    A little special feed perhaps? We’ll never know now.
    I’m going back to Montana vids and the glory days. Screw horse racing.
    Joe and Dwight used to hang out at this sports bar in Los Gatos not far from where I lived.
    Until he met Jennifer in that shaving cream commercial and they’ve been married ever since.
    For the first time in his life, Joe got his ass kicked. I think he’s been a much happier man since.
    And Jerruh – we have Kappy and now Nate Montana and you don’t. Have yourself a pretzel.

  35. rtfirefly2 says:

    Dennis, if it makes you feel better, I’ll tell you a story.
    My friends out here owned three horses, not racehorses, just fun horses.
    I used to feed them all the time, but grain ain’t cheap. They love carrots, cabbage, anything they can sink their teeth into.
    Forty gallon troughs are fun to fill when the horses are staring at you waiting.
    Horses are four hooves you pour money into.
    Fun as hell, though, but I’m disabled and I just can’t do it anymore.
    I’m not sure what they did with the third.
    They had to put the gelding down recently because he busted his leg.
    Now they just have the mare, but I’m sure they’ll find a mate for her.

  36. rtfirefly2 says:

    Funniest day, Dennis, is when I had to go to the new next door neighbors and knock on their door.
    “Excuse me, I know I’m bothering you, but our horse is in your backyard.”
    Feisty young Chiquita.
    That was the mare my friends still have, but I think she’s settled down now.
    Love horses, just can’t afford them.

  37. Nipper says:

    T E B OW

  38. unca_chuck says:

    new thread is up . . .

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