Coy Bacon 6'4" 270 Defensive End 1968 - 1981 14 Seasons 180 Games Played 130 Sacks 2 Touchdowns 3 Pro Bowls
Leander McCoy Bacon was an undrafted rookie signed by the Los Angeles Rams right before the 1968 season. Bacon had just come from playing in the Continental Football League. Coy had signed with the Charleston Rockets in 1966, after leaving Jackson State University upon completion of his sophomore year. At JSU, Bacon played Linebacker and Defensive End. While playing with the Rockets, Coy was named an All Star as a Defensive End in 1966. Other NFL luminaries like Bill Walsh, Ken Stabler, and Garo Yepremian also were in the Continental Football League. Coy Bacon is a member of the JSU Hall Of Fame.
Coy joined a Rams team that had one of the best defensive lines in football, featuring Hall Of Famers Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen. They were called "The Fearsome Foursome", and Bacon played just 7 games as a reserve in his rookie year. Coy cracked the starting lineup the next year, and started 13 games at Defensive Tackle. He was moved to Defensive End in 1970, recorded 20 sacks,and took a fumble 14 yards for a touchdown. Bacon then had 21 sacks and intercepted a pass the next year. Coy made his first Pro Bowl Team in 1972, and then was traded to the San Diego Chargers after that season as part of a blockbuster deal. He picked off a pass that year, and took it 80 yards for a touchdown. Bacon also led the Chargers in sacks in 2 of his 3 seasons with them. Right after the 1975 season, the Chargers traded Bacon to the Cincinnati Bengals for Hall Of Fame Wide Receiver Charlie Joiner. Coy responded with 21.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries for 48 yards and a safety. He was named to the Pro Bowl Team. Coy then made his last Pro Bowl Team the next year for the Bengals, despite missing 2 games. The Bengals then traded Bacon to the Washington Redskins right before 1978. Coy was the pass rusher the Redskins desperately needed, and he recorded double digits in sacks in each of his first 3 seasons with them. Coy was 39 years old in 1981, and started the 3 games he played before being injured for the rest of the season. The Redskins released him in the off season, but Coy was not done playing. He joined the Washington Federals of the USFL in 1983, and had a few good games. He then retired for good after that year.
Coy played in an era where sacks were not a recorded statistic. Some researchers have credited him with over 130 sacks in his career. If you discount the 3 games he played in 1981, you can easily see he averaged 10 sacks every year of his career. That includes his first 2 seasons as a Defensive Tackle. Bacon was one of the best pass rushers I have seen play the game. He was noted as a character who would not like to practice during the week of a game, reserving his energies for Sunday. He wasn't always stout against the run in the latter part of his career, but he made several spectacular plays when his team needed it most. Coy recently passed away, and I held off this post as a respect and waiting period. He is a fringe player for many as far as induction into Canton, but I look at a guy like Fred Dean get in and wonder why Coy is so. He was just as good a pass rusher, played on lesser defensive lines (meaning the primary focus was on him), and was better versus the run. Coy Bacon is a victim of times passing, as the newer voters don't probably know who he is. He never played on any teams that won anything, so he never got the press he probably deserved. But even if you look at the statistics, you can see Coy Bacon is worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
Notable Players Drafted In 1968 * Denotes Hall Of Fame
1. Ron Yary, OT, Minnesota * 2. Bob Johnson, C, Cincinnati 3. Claude Humphrey, DE, Atlanta 4. Russ Washington, DT/ OT, San Diego 8. Larry Csonka, FB, Miami * 9. Haven Moses, WR, Buffalo 11. Greg Landry, QB, Detroit 13. MacArthur Lane, RB, St. Louis Cardinals 14. Tim Rossovich, LB, Philadelphia 15. Forrest Blue, C, San Francisco 23. John Williams, OT, Baltimore Colts 26. Bill Lueck, G, Green Bay 31. Curley Culp, DT, Denver 33. Charlie West, DB, Minnesota 42. Bob Atkins, DB, St. Louis 43. Bill Lenkaitus, C, SanDiego 47. John Garlington, LB, Cleveland 48. Mike Livingston, QB, Kansas City 52. Ken Stabler, QB, Oakland 69. Skip Vanderbundt, LB, San Francisco 73. Dick Anderson, DB, Miami 74. Charlie Sanders, TE, Detroit * 77. Elvin Bethea, DE, Houston Oilers * 80. Art Shell, OT, Oakland * 81. Dick Himes, OT, Green Bay 82. Paul Robinson, RB, Cincinnati 84. Jess Phillips, RB, Cincinnati 98. Johnny Fuller, DB, San Francisco 105. Jim Beirne, WR, Houston 110. Charlie H. Smith, RB, Oakland 117. Mike Bragg, P, Washington 118. Jim Kiick, RB, Miami 124. Mark Nordquist, G, Philadelphia 127. Cecil Turner, WR, Chicago 130. Blaine Nye, G, Dallas 156. Essex Johnson, RB, Cincinnati 159. D.D. Lewis, LB, Dallas 167. Oscar Reed, RB, Minnesota 176. Bob Brunet, RB, Washington 181. Willie Holman, DE, Chicago 190. George Atkinson, DB, Oakland 222. Paul Smith, DT, Denver 249. John Outlaw, DB, Boston Patriots 261. Tommy Hart, DE, San Francisco 275. Greg Brezina, LB, Atlanta 277. Marv Hubbard, RB, Oakland 288. Henry Davis, LB, NY Giants 289. Rich Coady, C, Chicago 291. Dennis Partee, K, San Diego 297. John Pergine, LB, LA Rams 301. Bob Trumpy, TE, Cincinnati 305. Jim Cheyunski, LB, Boston 317. Jeff Queen, RB, San Diego 323. Harold Jackson, WR, Los Angeles Rams 330. Charlie Greer, DB, Denver 351. Dean Halverson, LB, LA Rams 357. Marlin Briscoe, WR, Denver 375. Robert Holmes, RB, Kansas City 417. Rocky Bleier, RB, Pittsburgh 428. Larry Cole, DE, Dallas 441. Bob Lee, QB, Minnesota