CANTON, Ohio — Lining up against Deacon Jones seems like an imposing task. Doing it in your first start as right tackle, in front of 80,000 people in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the future Hall of Fame defensive end barking at you — nearly impossible.
Rayfield Wright can laugh now, but admitted that he was kind of thrown off when Jones looked over at him — with those blood-red eyes — and asked, “Boy, does your mama know you out here?” on the first play of the game.
Wright also notes, with pride, that Jones never touched his quarterback Roger Staubach and he ended up getting the game ball. That game helped push him to the Hall of Fame.
“I had always dealt with the ball as a basketball player (in college) and as a tight end (earlier in his career), so that game opened my eyes to the inside part of the game.”
Wright earned first- or second-team All-NFL honors six consecutive times (1971-1976). He was also selected to play in the Pro Bowl following each of those seasons.
Wright was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He recently penned a book, called Wright Up Front.
— Adam Rank