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Former New York Giants DE Michael Strahan Honors the Late Deacon Jones

June 5th, 2013 at 10:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

Former eight-time Pro-Bowler, two-time NFL defensive player of the year and Hall of Fame inductee Deacon Jones passed away on Monday at his home in Anaheim Hills, CA. Jones, who was a victim of his era, is never going to be found on any all-time sacks list, as the league did not start tallying sacks as an official statistic until 1982. But unofficially, Jones finished his career with 194.5 sacks over his 14-year career, which would rank him behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White for the career sack record.

'Deacon Jones NFL HOF Defensive End Passes At 74' photo (c) 2013, Zennie Abraham - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In fact, had the NFL been keeping track of sacks before 1982, former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan would no longer hold the single-season sack record. Despite playing in a 16 game season, Strahan would have still fallen 3.5 sacks short of Jones' unofficial mark of 26 in 1967, when the NFL still only played 14 games per season. Regardless, Strahan still views Jones as an innovator and a the father of the modern day defensive end.

"He was fun to watch, because he was long and lanky," Strahan said. "You have a lot of players who play the game who do what other players have done. But Deacon did things that people hadn’t done before. He made them outlaw something [his head slap move] that he did. He found another way to get better, another way to succeed. He forever changed the position. He is the founding father, in my opinion, of defensive ends.”

In today's NFL, defensive end is perhaps the lone non-skill position that receives just as much public notoriety as a running back or wide receiver. A teams' ability to pressure the quarterback often determines the outcome of any given matchup, and the Giants have excelled in this regard, in varying degrees, over the last several seasons. 

Jones and Strahan were good friends from the inception of No. 92's career, and Strahan says that he may never have developed into a dominant defensive end without Jones' encouragement.

"I literally loved Deacon," Strahan said. "You often hear the term, there’s only one of somebody. But there’s truly only one Deacon Jones. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. I was a young player; he didn’t have to take me under his wing. It was just so good to have a legend believe in me as a young player, which made me better." 

Deacon Jones never played for the Giants, but he certainly had a positive impact on one of the franchises most influential players.

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Tags: Deacon Jones, Football, Michael Strahan, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Reggie White

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6 Responses to “Former New York Giants DE Michael Strahan Honors the Late Deacon Jones”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Is the 12 weeks recovery time for JPP mean when he’s deemed healthy enough to practice or the time when he should be back to 100%?

    •  F0XLIN says:

      12 weeks was the rehab and recovery time

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Thanks. Reading more accounts of people that have had the surgery it seems that 12 weeks is not the best case but a reasonable expectation. Plus JPP is young and a great athlete. It’s not as bad as it seemed at first. And maybe with his back no longer an issue he will be more like his 2011 self.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          It’s still a setback. It may take a month into the season before he has his conditioning and timing right.

          But this is going to give others a chance to shine. I’ll bet Kiwi feels he was finally released from Purgatory. And Ojomo, Tracy and Moore have to be excited about their chances of showing what they can do.

          Meanwhile, Tuck gets the chance to become the captain in more than name by leading on the field.

          Could this be a BID? Not really. But there could be some pretty interesting developments that result from JPP’s absence, and it is certainly a temporary one unless something freakish occurs.

          •  GOAT56 says:

            That’s pretty much my sentiments. It’s definitely a short term set back but I was looking at long term he should be more effective with no more back issues.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Anyone who had the privilege of watching Deacon Jones play will tell you that he was one of the rare players who could dominate a game individually. And when he got some quality linemates it was fun to watch them intimidate quarterbacks, even if sometimes it was our quarterback.

    On top of that, he was a real character. You think Michael Strahan has a “big” personality? The Deacon put his to shame.

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