St. Louis has enjoyed watching some great defensive football players over the years. Cardinals safety Larry Wilson and Big Red cornerback Roger Wehrli are deservedly in the Hall of Fame.
As the Rams headed to Super Bowl XXXIV, Kevin Carter had 17 sacks. Aeneas Williams is a possible Hall of Famer, and London Fletcher may be the best player NOT to play in a Pro Bowl in this era.
But there are more great ones associated with the Rams. Merlin Olson and Jack Youngblood made the Hall of Fame as members of the Los Angeles Rams, and guys like Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier were fine players.
But perhaps the best defensive player associated with a St. Louis team is Deacon Jones.
The inventor of the “sack” was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 after amassing 173.5 sacks. He determined early in his career that, since quarterbacks deserved, as a group, to be tossed in a burlap sack and hit with a baseball bat, he’d call it a sack. Defensive linemen had never had a statistic before, and now they had one.
Jones will have his number retired by the Rams on September 27 at the Rams hope opener against Green Bay. It will probably be several years before we see another Rams so honored, and it’ll be great to see a local franchise honor their past again. Jones should have been honored like this a long time ago, and is finally getting his due.
Single game Rams tickets go on sale Friday at StLouisRams.com.