NFL pioneer Deacon Jones died on Monday night. As part of the Fearsome Foursome, he helped change the way defensive linemen play. His contributions to the game weren't unnoticed by the Bears' best.
Playing for the Rams, Jones revolutionized the game by bringing a new athleticism to the defensive line in the 60s and 70s. He coined the term "sack," but was also known for being a character off the field. Chicago's own defensive lineman Hall-of-Famer Dan Hampton talked about how he appreciated both sides of Jones.
“One of the first memories I have when I was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was going to a luncheon. And they called it the (Ray) Nitschke Luncheon, but it should have been the Deacon Luncheon because Nitschke had already passed on," Hampton told the Chicago Tribune.
"But Deacon ran it like it was his show. And that’s the way Deacon was. He never saw a room that he couldn’t take over. And he never met an offensive line he didn’t think he could take over."
Even offensive linemen had to pay tribute. Rookie Bear Kyle Long talked about how Long was an inspiration.
RIP Deacon Jones... Revolutionized the pass rush. He was respected by all. — Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) June 4, 2013
Jones was the classic intimidator in football.. His head slap literally knocked guys out. — Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) June 4, 2013
Jones' game opened the door for a pass rusher like Julius Peppers to play the game as he did. His legacy won't soon be forgotten.