Adapted from a Daily News story by Vincent Bonsignore
“Rams Hall of Famer Tagged for Greatness”
Great football players are found at the NFL scouting combine. But the “combine” did not always exist. It was hard work to be discovered. It also helped to be lucky.
Jack Teele remembers a great find in 1961. He was a sportswriter for the Long Beach Press-Telegram. He worked with the LA Rams.
He was looking at game films. The Rams owner, Dan Reeves, was with him. They wanted to find a good quarterback. But they saw another very strong player.
Teele says, "The quarterback we were interested in kept getting knocked on his butt by a big old defensive end."
Then Reeves said, "Forget the quarterback, who's the guy knocking him on his butt?"
It was Deacon Jones. The Rams drafted him. He was on the defensive line. That line also had Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier. They formed a strong unit. They would terrorize the NFL for years. They were called the Fearsome Foursome
Jones could dominate the field. He invented the phrase “sack.” That means tackling the quarterback.
In 14 years Jones made over 194 sacks. In 1967 he made 26! He became a Hall of Fame player.
He was also very charming. This helped him be an actor too. He was in commercials, TV shows and movies.