Over the weekend, the NFL made one of the best moves in recent memory. They announced the league will be giving the Deacon Jones trophy. This award will be given annually to players with the most sacks in the season. Since "The Secretary of Defense" originally coined the term "sack", this award was a long time coming.
The Rams will more than likely do something in Jones' honor, but the best way the Rams can honor him is to win the inaugural award. If only winning the award was that easy?
The Rams best defensive linemen right now, is easily Chris Long. The problem is that QB hurries and hits might be important - and Long has been great in those categories - they still aren't sacks. Long had 13 sacks in 2011, and last season he had 11.5 sacks, which is good, but it's not good enough to win the award. However, one person at NFL.com thinks that Long can win the award.
Long isn't the only player on the team who could push for this award. I'm talking about 3rd year veteran Robert Quinn. When the Rams drafted Quinn in the 1st round in 2011, they envisioned him becoming a talented pass rusher, but they knew it wouldn't happen overnight. The team brought him along slowly. In his rookie season, he had 5 sacks, and last season as a full time starter he notched up 10.5 sacks.
Here's a quick look at the 2012 stats
|1||J.J. Watt, DE||HOU||12||69||81||20.5||139||16||0||0||0||0||4||2||0|
|2||Aldon Smith, LB||SF||16||50||66||19.5||145||1||1||6||6||0||3||0||0|
|3||Von Miller, LB||DEN||13||55||68||18.5||130||2||1||26||26||1||6||0||0|
|4||Cameron Wake, DE||MIA||15||38||53||15.0||92||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||0|
|5||Clay Matthews, LB||GB||11||32||43||13.0||84||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|6||Charles Johnson, DE||CAR||11||30||41||12.5||100||4||0||0||0||0||7||1||0|
|Geno Atkins, DT||CIN||14||39||53||12.5||90||2||0||0||0||0||4||0||0|
|8||Jared Allen, DE||MIN||10||35||45||12.0||63||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|9||Julius Peppers, DE||CHI||7||32||39||11.5||74||2||0||0||0||0||1||4||0|
|Chris Clemons, DE||SEA||9||31||40||11.5||87||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||0|
|DeMarcus Ware, LB||DAL||23||33||56||11.5||64||0||0||0||0||0||5||1||0|
|Chris Long, DE||STL||8||25||33||11.5||74||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Michael Johnson, DE||CIN||17||35||52||11.5||71||2||1||3||3||0||0||1||0|
|14||Elvis Dumervil, LB||DEN||22||32||54||11.0||83||1||0||0||0||0||6||0||0|
|Anthony Spencer, LB||DAL||40||55||95||11.0||83||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||0|
|Greg Hardy, DE||CAR||20||41||61||11.0||86||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||0|
|17||Mario Williams, DE||BUF||9||37||46||10.5||51||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||0|
|Robert Quinn, DE||STL||5||24||29||10.5||61||2||0||0||0||0|
This chart basically shows Quinn or Long could need 20 sacks to win the award. However, if we look at the 2011 season, Minnesota Viking DE Jared Allen had 22 sacks. Before that, the last time a player had 20 sacks was in 2008 by DeMarcus Ware.
Nothing in the NFL happens easy. Both of these players could be looked at as long shots to win the Deacon Jones award. However, it would be a good thing for the Rams, the league, and the late great Deacon Jones if a member of the Rams could win the award first.