P-D feature by Bryan Burwell:The Rams' tribute to Deacon Jones, one of the NFL's most-feared players, will precede the Rams' kickoff. At halftime, fans will be treated to a women's football scrimmage. Ironically, characterization of the 2009 Rams is caught uncomfortably in between. Here's some reading on the Deacon for the weekend, after the break: Today's
Even at 70 years old, make no mistake about it, David "Deacon" Jones talks like he still is the meanest SOB to ever roam a football field. "The only way to play this game is by whippin' (butt)," he says. "You can't just win. You have to beat him up." His laughter fills the room with a deliciously sinister cackle. "You have to beat him up to such a state that it can't be denied who's the better man." The more he talks, the more you are convinced that maybe, just maybe, he still is.Paul Zimmerman, SIDeacon
Jones could split helmets with his head slap, and his outside speed rush was devastating. He probably ranks with former Charger and 49er Fred Dean and the Titans' Jevon Kearse as the fastest defensive ends of all time. Plus, Jones was relentless; he never gave up. He collected sacks on his hands and knees. One Jones quote sticks with me: "We're like a bunch of animals, kicking and clawing and scratching at each other."Got to cut this short ... heading out to the game today. Congrats to #75, and if the Rams are smart they'll bring him into the locker room to put a pregame shot of sand into the team.