Sunday • December 10
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The Secretary of Defense & Forrest Gregg
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This week, we add two more names to our Hall of Fame Guest Roster, as we welcome one of the greatest defensive ends ever, Deacon Jones, and a man who proudly wears six championship rings, Forrest Gregg.
Episode Segments:
 
Bearly Legal: Around the League
Can you separate the actions of a man off the field from his actions on the field? Current MVP frontrunner Michael Vick seems to have left his problems behind. Then – the Bears’ running game is coming together. So where’s Chester Taylor?
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Bearly Legal: The Secretary of Defense
When you’re talking about the best defensive ends of all time, you have to include Deacon Jones in the conversation. We’ll get his take on where he thinks he stacks up among the best, what he did to revolutionize the position, and how the position has changed throughout the years.
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Bearly Legal: Forrest Gregg
Vince Lombardi called Forrest Gregg the finest player he ever coached. With six championship rings, it’s not hard to understand why! We’ll talk to Coach Gregg about his amazing career, the state of the NFL, and about Mike Ditka, both as a teammate and opposing coach.
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Bearly Legal: Closing Arguments
To close things out, the guys compare Gregg to Ditka as coaches, and parity gone wild in the NFL.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Forrest Gregg
During a Pro Football Hall of Fame playing career, he was a part of six championships, five of them with the Green Bay Packers before closing out his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys with a win in Super Bowl VI. He went on to serve as head coach of three teams: the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers. Gregg was a key player on the Packers dynasty that won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls in the 1960s. Gregg earned an "iron-man" tag by playing in a then-league record 188 consecutive games from 1956 until 1971. He also won All-NFL acclaim eight straight years from 1960 through 1967 and was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls. Gregg closed his career with the Dallas Cowboys, as did his Packer teammate, cornerback Herb Adderley. They both helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI, making them the only players (along with former teammate Fred Thurston, who was on the Baltimore Colts world championship team in 1958) in professional football history to play on six teams that won World Championships. Vince Lombardi, the famed head coach of the Packers in the 1960s, claimed "Forrest Gregg is the finest player I ever coached!" in his book Run to Daylight. In 1999, he was ranked number 28 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, ranking him second behind Ray Nitschke among players coached by Lombardi, second behind Anthony Munoz (who he coached) among offensive tackles, and third behind Munoz and John Hannah among all offensive linemen. After serving as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers in 1973, he took a similar position the following year with the Browns. After head coach Nick Skorich was dismissed at the conclusion of the 1974 NFL season, Gregg took over as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, a position he held until 1977. After sitting out the 1978 season, Gregg returned to coaching in 1979 with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts. In 1980 he became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and remained until 1983. Gregg's most successful season as a head coach was in 1981, when he coached the Bengals to a 12–4 regular season record and they went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers 27–7 in the AFC championship game (known as the Freezer Bowl), earning them a trip to the Super Bowl. They lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI 26–21. He finished his NFL coaching career with his old team, the Packers, from 1984–1987. Gregg's overall record as an NFL coach was 75 wins, 85 losses, and one tie. He also won two and lost two playoff games. [1] After coaching in the NFL, Gregg went on to coach for two years at Southern Methodist University, his alma mater, during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He was brought in to revive the Mustang football program after it received the "death penalty" from the NCAA for serious institutional infractions. Although the NCAA had only canceled the 1987 season, school officials later opted to cancel the 1988 season as well due to concerns it wouldn't be able to field a competitive team. As it turned out, when Gregg arrived, he was presented with a severely undersized and underweight roster composed mostly of freshmen. Gregg was taller and heavier than nearly the entire team, and had to make several wide receivers bulk up so they could become offensive linemen. By nearly all accounts, it would have been unthinkable for the Mustangs to attempt to play the 1988 season under such conditions. In 1989, the Mustangs went 2-9, including a 95-21 thrashing by Houston--the second-worst loss in school history. After the season, he was named athletic director. The Mustangs went 1-10 in 1990, and after the season Gregg resigned as coach to focus on his duties as athletic director. Gregg's coaching record at SMU was 3 wins and 19 losses. He served as athletic director until 1994. He returned to the CFL with the Shreveport Pirates in 1994–95, during that league's brief attempt at expansion to the United States. Gregg's overall record as a CFL coach was 13 wins and 39 losses. When former Shreveport Pirate owner Bernard Glieberman bought a stake in the Ottawa Renegades in May 2005, Gregg was appointed as Vice President of Football Operations.

Forrest Gregg's NFL Hall of Fame Page

 
Deacon Jones
Deacon Jones, who had had an obscure college career preceding his 14th-round selection by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1961 draft, quickly blossomed into a superb defensive end. Blessed with speed, agility, and quickness, the “Deacon” became one of the finest pass rushers in the business. Yet had it not been for the chance observation of two Rams scouts viewing films of an opponent, he might never have had a chance to play pro football. When the scouts noted that the 6-4, 272-pound tackle was outrunning the backs they were scouting, they recommended Jones as a sleeper pick. His college background consisted of a year at South Carolina State in 1958 followed by a year of inactivity in 1959 and a final season at Mississippi Vocational in 1960. Originally, the Rams weren't certain which platoon would be best for Jones but the Deacon quickly earned his niche as a defensive end and, for most of a decade, he teamed with tackle Merlin Olsen to give Los Angeles a perennial All-Pro left side of the defensive line. Jones won unanimous all-league honors six straight years from 1965 through 1970. He also played in seven straight Pro Bowls, 1965-1971, and was selected to an eighth in 1973. In both 1967 and 1968, he was chosen the top defensive player in the NFL by one major news service. In 1972, Jones was included in a multi-player trade with the San Diego Chargers. He was an instant success with his new team, leading all Chargers' defensive linemen in tackles and winning a berth on the AFC Pro Bowl squad. He also was named San Diego's defensive captain. He concluded his career with the Washington Redskins in 1974. The extremely durable and dedicated Jones missed just five games of a possible 196 regular-season encounters in 14 NFL campaigns.

Deacon's Wikipedia Page