David "Deacon" Jones, the intimidating defensive end, passed away this morning at the age of 74. The man was a legend: he invented the term "quarterback sack", he invented the head-slap -- which was then outlawed because of him. He registered two years with over 24 sacks, in an era of 14-game seasons. Of course, that's all unofficial: sack statistics weren't kept in those days.
Unfortunately, little footage of his playing days is ever shown. We're left with NFL Films vignettes on the great man's playing days. But that doesn't stop him from being legendary in everyone's eyes, including those of former and present Buccaneers. Warren Sapp said on NFL Network that he patterned his game after Deacon Jones, talking the talk and walking the walk. Plenty of others reacted on Twitter, too.
I awake to the worst news in a while, David "Deacon" Jones is gone home! #SackMaster— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) June 4, 2013
I remember when Gruden had the great Deacon Jones come talk 2 the team he was such a inspiration I wanted 2go play right after he got done— Donald Penn (@DPENN70) June 4, 2013
RIP 2 one of the best that ever did it RIP Deacon Jones— Donald Penn (@DPENN70) June 4, 2013
Got a lot of respect for Deacon Jones, the sackmaster. My prayers go out to him & family.— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) June 4, 2013
#RIPDeaconJones one of the best there ever will be.— Ernest Owusu (@TheErnestOwusu) June 4, 2013
Workout over , the DLine fraternity lost a brotha Deacon Jones the best athletes in football play DLine and he's arguably the greatest RIP— Booger (@lsubooger) June 4, 2013