Rickey Jackson

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Rickey Jackson
No. 57
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1958-03-20) March 20, 1958 (age 59)
Place of birth: Pahokee, Florida
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 243 lb (110 kg)
Career information
High school: Pahokee (FL)
College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 51
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 1,173
Sacks: 128.0
Interceptions: 8
Fumble recoveries: 29
Player stats at NFL.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame

Rickey Anderson Jackson (born March 20, 1958) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the New Orleans Saints (1981–1993) and the San Francisco 49ers (1994–1995). In 1997, Jackson was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.[1] Jackson won a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX one year before retiring. On February 7, 2010, Jackson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Early years

Jackson's first name was originally spelled "Ricky"; he says he changed it himself in high school.[2] Jackson played football and basketball at Pahokee High School in Pahokee, Florida.[3] He made 188 tackles and caught 21 passes for eight touchdowns as a tight end. In 2007, he was named to the Florida High School Athletic Association's All-Century Team, consisting of the top 33 players in the 100-year history of high school football in Florida. Jackson's nickname, "City Champ", came from his days at Pahokee; he has variously said that he chose the name himself or was given it because of his performance on the field.[2][4]

College career

Jackson was known as "the other end" at the University of Pittsburgh due to Hugh Green's presence on the team. Although overshadowed by Green,[5] as a junior in 1979 Jackson was a second-team All-East selection and named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and The Sporting News. As a senior in 1980, he was a second-team All-America selection and a first-team All-Big East selection. Pitt's defense was ranked number one nationally in 1980.

Jackson ended his college career with 290 tackles, 166 of them unassisted. He also finished with 21 sacks, four passes defended and three interceptions. As a freshman, he totaled 15 tackles and two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. As a sophomore, he made 27 tackles (21 unassisted) and five sacks. In 1979, he had 111 tackles (47 unassisted) and four sacks and recovered two fumbles. In 1980, he led the team with 137 tackles (87 solo), had 12 sacks, broke up four passes, recovered four fumbles and intercepted a pass. Following the game against Army in 1980, in which Jackson recorded 12 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, and a blocked punt, he was named the Sports Illustrated Player of the Week. That same year, during the game against Penn State, he was chosen the ABC/Chevrolet Player-of-the-Game.

Jackson made 14 tackles in the Pittsburgh Gator Bowl win and played in the Senior Bowl, where he was a team captain. He was the MVP of the East-West Shrine Game.

Professional career

Drafted in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft (53rd overall) from Pitt, Jackson was a member of the first draft in New Orleans under head coach Bum Phillips. Jackson played in all 16 games his rookie season and was named to the NFL All-Rookie team. In 1983, he was first-team All-NFC, the first of seven seasons in which he'd receive post-season honors in the NFL, including being selected six times for the Pro Bowl (in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992, and 1993). Jackson was a four-time first-team All-Pro and a two-time second-team All-Pro selection. He was a member of the Saints' famed "Dome Patrol", a four-man linebacking corps named by the NFL Network as the best in NFL history.

In his 13 seasons as a Saint, Jackson missed only two games, a result of an automobile accident in 1989. He played the remainder of the 1989 season with his jaw wired and wearing a special helmet, still managing to accumulate 7-1/2 sacks during the year.

In 1994, Jackson joined the 49ers. He won his only Super Bowl with the 49ers that year. He retired from the NFL following the 1995 season.

Jackson recorded 10 or more sacks in six different seasons and led the NFL in fumble recoveries in 1990 and 1991. He finished his career with 136 (eight unofficial in 1981) sacks and eight interceptions, which he returned for 68 yards. In his first year as a finalist in 2010, Jackson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, one day before the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV. His bust, sculpted by Scott Myers, was unveiled at the Enshrinement Ceremony on August 7, 2010. He is the first member of the Hall of Fame to be inducted primarily for his contributions as a Saint.

Records

On his retirement following the 1995 season, Jackson held the following NFL records.[6]

  • Second: Most Opponents Fumbles Recovered, Career – 28
  • Third: Most Sacks, Career – 128.0
  • Tied for third: Most Opponents' Fumbles Recovered, Season – 7 (1990)

At the end of the 1993 season, his final season with New Orleans, Jackson held the following Saints records.[6]

  • First: Most Games – 195
  • First: Most Sacks, Career – 123.0 (includes unofficial 8.0 sacks in 1981)
  • Tied for first: Most Seasons – 13
  • First: Most Opponents Fumbles Recovered, Career – 26
  • First: Most Opponents Fumbles Recovered, Season – 7 (1990)
  • Tied for first: Most Sacks, Game – 4 (at Atlanta, Dec. 14, 1986; at Detroit, Sept. 18, 1988)

References

  1. ^ "Saints Hall of Fame Inductees", New Orleans Saints, 1997.
  2. ^ a b Hal Habib, "Pahokee's Rickey Jackson is going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his heart never really leaves", The Palm Beach Post, August 1, 2010
  3. ^ Tom D'Angelo, "Rickey Jackson's Hall of Fame run forever meshed with Saints and the muck of Pahokee", The Palm Beach Post, February 13, 2010.
  4. ^ Jimmy Smith, "Rickey Jackson gets another shot at Hall of Fame today", Times-Picayune, February 6, 2010.
  5. ^ Gil Brandt, "Jackson used physical gifts to overcome tough odds", NFL.com, August 1, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Rickey Jackson Career Highlights", Pro Football Hall of Fame, January 8, 2010.
  • Smith, Jimmy (February 6, 2010). "Rickey Jackson becomes first New Orleans Saints player elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame". New Orleans Time Picayune. 
  • Finney, Peter (February 6, 2010). "New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson's induction was long overdue". New Orleans Time Picayune. 
  • Smith, Jimmy (February 6, 2010). "Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson says the Hall of Fame "means everything"". New Orleans Time Picayune. 
  • Cook, Ron (February 12, 2010). "Pitt is it for NFL prospects". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  • Goodman, Joseph (February 8, 2010). "King of muck, Rickey Jackson, is true Saint". The News Tribune. 
  • "Top Ten Linebacking Corps: Jim Mora's Saints". March 18, 2008. 
  • "The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2010". Jan 8, 2010. 
  • "Hall of Famers". Jan 8, 2010. 
  • "The Dome Patrol". 


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