Fearsome Foursome legend Deacon Jones' passing Monday at age 74 provides an opportunity to reflect upon one of the greatest defensive ends in NFL history.
We'll do that beginning Tuesday.
Jones, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 after spending most of his 14-year career with the Los Angeles Rams, epitomized violent play in the NFL before the league made efforts to protect quarterbacks and everyone else. He remained unapologetic and defiant to the end, including during a 2011 interview with XTRA910 AM radio in Phoenix:
"If you ain't sent but one man, there's going to be a casualty that day. No, I'm not a guy you send one man against. I'm a hitman. I come to hurt people. I wouldn't advise that. I come to hurt you. Me and the commissioner would talk the same language, man. I come to take you out. OK, now, I don't know what the other guys tell you. I come to take you out. Hospital. And if you go the next step, it doesn’t' bother me -- not one bit. That was my approach to the game. I am not going to lie to you about it. I could not play now. Are you kidding me? I wouldn't be making no money. I would owe the league money.
Jones' passing leaves Rosey Grier as the last living member of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome line also featuring Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen.