Warren Sapp Mourns The Loss Of Deacon Jones

June 4th, 2013

deacon jones

Guys who make a living burying quarterbacks have a fraternity of sorts, and the only way you can get into the fraternity is by putting signal-callers through hell.

So it’s not surprising that soon-to-be Hall of Famer and Bucs icon Warren Sapp mourns the loss of the man widely regarded as the greatest sack artist of all time, David “Deacon” Jones.

“He was an absolute institution,” Sapp said via NFL Media Relations. “”I patterned my game after him because if you can talk that talk & walk that walk, then you can stand beside Deacon.”

Sapp looked up to Jones and had a kindred friendship, mainly over a few beers and their loathing of quarterbacks, as Sapp described in a Tampa Bay Times article back in 2002p. Back then Sapp, Jones and Bruce Smith had a pouring session over pummeling quarterbacks.

“It was one of those nights, then one of those mornings,” Sapp said. “It was just us and the bartender, and he was on point. You had to be there, just to hear their passion for the game.

“I wanted to travel with them. Put me in the car too. You know? I got in the car and traveled the ’70s with Deacon, then I traveled the ’80s and ’90s with Bruce. I came along with him through Bruce Armstrong and all the great ones he played, Richmond Webb, and all the great ones he had to rush. They’re all about a nasty, tenacious rush and inflicting as much pain on the quarterback as possible. I mean, Bruce was talking about hunting Dan Marino as if Dan Marino had just slapped his mama.”

Joe’s football memories go back to the late 1960s. Joe can remember Joe Namath, barely Bart Starr, barely Dick Butkus, Johnny Unitas as a Chargers quarterback, but doesn’t quite remember Deacon Jones.

What Joe does remember are all those wonderful NFL Films pieces of Jones where he prided himself on wanting to send quarterbacks to the hospital “with no remorse in my heart.” It was because of Jones’ bigger than life personality, highlighted by so many NFL Films interviews, that Jones became one of Joe’s favorites.

Feel free to click on this link and fast-forward to the 39:00-mark to get to know Jones, a true character of the NFL that is lost now. When Joe last night heard of Jones’ passing, Joe could remember as a kid watching NFL Films on gray, cold fall Saturday afternoons.

For reasons unknown, former Bucs sack artist Simeon Rice always reminded Joe of Deacon Jones, the personality if not the sacks.

8 Responses to “Warren Sapp Mourns The Loss Of Deacon Jones”

  1. Adam L Says:

    Joe… I actually had you pegged as a younger dude. I’ve never seen your face or met you in person.

    It’s not the years, it’s the milage. 😉

  2. OB Says:

    Joe, Since I was born and raised in Los Angeles and am old enough, I had the pleasure of watching Deacon Jones and the Fearsom Foursom play and they played the Vikings Purple People Eaters twice a year so I saw defensive lines. In my opinion, Deacon Jones invented what a defense end is.

    I don’t know why the NFL does go back and see the films of him and the others before there were sacks to count what they did. His partner, Merlin Olson was no slouch either and he is also in the HOF. Carl Page of the Viking was also very good and I believe he is in the HOF also, their records need to be counted for all to know

    Join me in hoisting one for the Secretary of Defense, the Deacon.

  3. Joe Says:

    I don’t know why the NFL does go back and see the films of him and the others before there were sacks to count what they did.

    Most game footage prior to 1990 doesn’t exist. Only thing that is available is NFL Films footage.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Bucs obtained the rights to VHS tape of games in the 1990s from a local fan. Often, teams simply threw away game film.

    Only way the NFL could go back and do this would be to rely on play-by-play records — if they were kept back then — of each play. Even then, those vary wildly. Just look at the difference between tackle stats from what the NFL keeps to the tackle stats that teams compile.

    Without full game footage of each one of Deacon’s games, it’s virtually impossible to confirm how many sacks he had — though he swears he had 26 regular season sacks in 1967.

  4. BigSombrero Says:

    Deacon Jones was the quintessential NFL player. Hopefully all he embodied never gets lost in the bright lights and big contracts. RIP to a true legend that will live on forever.

  5. Adam Says:

    If you ever get a chance to watch “Top 10” on NFL Network, check out “Top Ten Pass Rushers.” Deacon Jones is not only #1, but they ask everyone else who is debating the subject if there is ANY debate and it’s so funny because it’s the one “list” where, not only is there NO debate, the DEBATERS are actually AFRAID to debate it because of who they are debating about.

    It’s the one and ONLY “list” show I’ve ever seen where #1 was about as clear cut as Amanda Bynes’ mental illness.

    I remember someone said (I forget who)…. “There might be a better pass rusher, but I’m not sayin’ it.”

  6. scubog Says:

    Such an interesting character.

  7. PRBucFan Says:

    Unofficial Annual Sack Totals
    Year Sacks Team
    1962 12 Los Angeles Rams
    1963 20 Los Angeles Rams
    1964 22 Los Angeles Rams
    1965 19 Los Angeles Rams
    1966 18 Los Angeles Rams
    1967 26 Los Angeles Rams
    1968 24 Los Angeles Rams
    1969 15 Los Angeles Rams
    1970 12 Los Angeles Rams

    Unofficial’s I know and not every year he played either but these numbers are crazy. I was watching NFL Network and they mentioned that he has a 26 sack season on just 14 games?? Nuts

  8. PRBucFan Says:

    Actually today on the show one of the guys they were talkin to on the phone mentioned a someone he refused to put Deacon in front of but i don’t remember his name..