By JOSH DUBOW, AP Professional Soccer Author
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fred Dean, the fearsome go rusher who was a key a part of the launch of the San Francisco 49ers’ dynasty, has died. He was 68.
His dying on Wednesday night time was confirmed Thursday by the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Dean was hospitalized final week with the coronavirus and was on a ventilator and in intensive care, in response to former teammate Dwight Hicks.
Dean was an undersized go rusher who started his profession as a second-round choose with the San Diego Chargers in 1975 and ended it within the Corridor of Fame after being named an All-Professional twice and making 4 Professional Bowls.
Dean was an All-Professional for the Chargers in 1980 however had his greatest influence after being traded to San Francisco through the 1981 season.
“Whereas it can’t be stated that Fred Dean’s greatness as an NFL participant started when he got here to the 49ers in 1981, I can say because the proprietor of the staff that the greatness of the 49ers started with Fred Dean’s arrival in San Francisco,” former 49ers proprietor Eddie DeBartolo stated when he launched Haley at his Corridor of Fame induction.
Dean’s profession in San Diego led to a contract dispute in 1981 and he was traded to San Francisco in October.
He credited the commerce for reviving his profession.
“I really stepped on the opposite facet for a minute, breathed within the air, checked out it as a rainbow,” he stated earlier than being inducted into the Corridor of Fame. “I made it to the opposite facet of the rainbow. For me, that was the pot of gold. It was a distinct way of life for me altogether. I felt free to carry out as soon as I bought there.”
The Niners have been simply beginning to take off underneath coach Invoice Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana and Dean was the ultimate piece they wanted to turn into champions.
The Niners have been 3-2 when Dean arrived with hopes of ending an eight-year playoff drought. After solely a few practices, Dean performed his first sport with the Niners simply days after arriving towards Dallas.
“Invoice Walsh informed me they hadn’t beat ‘em shortly,” Dean recalled. “It was within the paper and the whole lot about how they’d not. For me, it was a platform for me to show a degree, that I nonetheless had it and will do it.”
He did simply that, dominating Dallas’ offensive line in a 45-14 win that proved to be the distinction in giving San Francisco home-field benefit within the playoffs.
Sacks weren’t an official statistic but, however Dean reportedly had 2 1/2 in that sport, in addition to a number of different pressures and penalties drawn.
San Francisco then received the rematch with the Cowboys three months later within the NFC title sport 28-27 because of “The Catch” by Dwight Clark on a go from Montana. The Niners received their first Tremendous Bowl two weeks later towards Cincinnati.
Dean performed 4 extra seasons in San Francisco, profitable a second Tremendous Bowl following the 1984 season.
Dean had seven sacks, 93 tackles and 4 fumble recoveries in his rookie 12 months. His profession sacks complete close to 100, however the quantity is unofficial as a result of sacks weren’t an official NFL statistic till 1982.
Unofficially, he had 15½ sacks in 1978. He contributed 12 sacks in 11 video games with the 49ers in 1981. His profession greatest was 17½ in 1983, together with a then-NFL report six in a single sport towards New Orleans.
“He exemplified lots of the values discovered from this nice sport — dedication, integrity, braveness — over the course of his life,” Corridor of Fame President and CEO David Baker stated.
Dean was inducted into the shrine in 2008.
“I may take into account it being born by the Chargers however having a renewal life with the 49ers,” Dean stated in his Corridor of Fame speech. “And being with the 49ers, I discovered that on the opposite facet of that bridge, on the opposite facet was my rainbow, the true ending of a rainbow. Not financially, however with all of the individuals there.”
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